Haney working on strong finish with Sox

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Jacob Haney admits he got off to a "rocky start" with the Tom Sox this summer. But the homegrown right-hander is working on a strong finish, as the team heads into this weekend's playoffs.

Haney, a rising junior for William and Mary who played his high school baseball at the Covenant School, has a 1-1 record and a 4.08 ERA in 28 2/3 innings over eight appearances for the Tom Sox this summer. But there's a clear line in his game log.

After going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA as a starter in his first five outings, Haney has yet to allow a run in 11 innings out of the bullpen over his last three appearances. But Haney -- who is expected to make one more appearance for the Sox this summer, once the playoffs start on Sunday -- doesn't believe the change in role prompted his turnaround.

"I don't know," he said with a chuckle. "I think pitching's pitching either way, starting or closing or out of the pen."

Haney gave up 16 runs on 22 hits and 10 walks while striking out 15 in 17 2/3 innings as a starter. Over his three scoreless relief appearances -- including most recently, three no-hit innings at Waynesboro on Tuesday night -- Haney has given up seven hits and walked three, while striking out 17 in 11 innings.

"I think it was more intent than anything," Haney said. "Working on my mental game. I'm able to reach both sides of the plate with my fastball now. Breaking ball's sharper. Mostly mental. I'd say it's mostly mental."

"I could definitely see that," agreed Cal Greenfield, who has caught three of Haney's appearances this summer. "It was also just a matter of, we kind of figured out what was working for him his last outing, and tried to move away from maybe our original game plan. Just stuck with what was working."

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