Finale arrives for Gloucester Catholic's Shawaryn

Gloucester Catholic's Mike Shawaryn ED HILLE / Staff
Gloucester Catholic's Mike Shawaryn ED HILLE / Staff
Posted: June 09, 2013

Mike Shawaryn wasn't feeling like most of his Gloucester Catholic senior classmates during graduation ceremonies Tuesday.

He wasn't feeling a bittersweet sense of finality.

"I was sad, but I really wasn't feeling like it was the end," Shawaryn said. "I know it won't be over until this last game is over."

Shawaryn couldn't have scripted a better final act to his high school baseball career: He'll take the hill as Gloucester Catholic's starting pitcher in the Non-Public A state championship game against Seton Hall Prep at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Toms River East.

Gloucester Catholic (28-5) will try to become the first team in New Jersey history to win four consecutive state titles.

And Shawaryn, along with fellow seniors Jon Theckston and Frank Ragozzino, will attempt to become the first baseball players in New Jersey history to suit up for four state-championship teams.

"Gloucester Catholic has been everything I hoped it would be," Shawaryn said. "It's been a great ride."

This could be a red-letter weekend for Shawaryn in more ways than one.

He is projected as the South Jersey high school player likely to be selected earliest in the Major League Baseball draft, which concludes Saturday.

One National League team in particular has expressed strong interest in Shawaryn, and could select him between the 10th and 15th rounds.

"It's been in and out of my mind," Shawaryn said of the draft. "I try to focus on the game, but sometimes it will pop into my head.

"If it happens, it happens. It will be a dream come true."

Shawaryn has signed with the University of Maryland. Like most high school players who have committed to Division I college programs, his "signability" could affect his draft position as much as his ability.

"I'm set to play at Maryland if the draft doesn't work out," Shawaryn said. "I'll go down there and work and try to continue to improve as a baseball player."

While his future is very much on his mind, Shawaryn is trying to focus on the last moments of his high school career.

He has been one of the top pitchers in Gloucester Catholic's illustrious history. This season, Shawaryn is 7-2 with a 0.70 ERA. He has 74 strikeouts with just 14 walks in 492/3 innings.

On Sunday, he has a chance to cap his career and make history.

A victory would secure Gloucester Catholic's 17th state title, more than twice as many as any other baseball program in New Jersey.

"It's exciting to be able to pitch in my last game," Shawaryn said. "I wouldn't want it to work out any other way."


Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.inquirer.com/

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