Haughian Gaining Momentum for Keys

Nick Haughian threw his first career complete game in a Keys 1-0 win against Myrtle Beach Saturday.

Frederick Keys pitcher Nick Haughian was dominate again Saturday as he threw his first ever complete game in a shutout win against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

The complete game effort would have been cut short had Haughian not chosen to sprint out to the mound from the dugout after the eighth inning. A move that was smart on his part because it kept him in the game.

[Laughs] "I got out on the mound before he had a chance to talk to me," Haughian said. "I wanted to get out there and finish the game."

Manager Orlando Gomez planned to bring in closer Sean Gleason for the ninth but couldn't with the starter already warming up to begin the inning.

"I ran into the dugout and he was already on the mound," said a chuckling Gomez.

Gomez walked out to the mound before the inning started to check on Haughian and the left-handed pitcher convinced him that he was okay after throwing 74 pitches through eight innings. Haughian allowed a runner to reach base in the ninth with two out and then shut the door on the final Myrtle Beach hitter to end the game on his 85th pitch.

Haughian is in his third full season in pro ball and was a ninth round draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles in 2008.

The 24-year-old began the 2011 season in the bullpen where he made six appearances but was moved into the rotation after an injury that forced Ryan O'Shea to the disabled list. Haughian has made 14 starts and combined with his numbers from the bullpen he currently has an 8-4 record with a 3.40 ERA. The Washington native is just happy and thankful to be where he is right now.

"I didn't know I was going to be doing this three months ago," he said. "Just a part of how this season is going I have a lot of people to thank coaches, defense, manager and everybody else. It has been really good."

Haughian also received Carolina League pitcher of the week honors recently and continues to receive some attention with his stellar performances.

The aspect of his game that has really helped him is changing speeds on his fastball. Haughian loves to work off his fastball and bring the breaking stuff occasionally for out pitches. The Keys pitcher is able to get away with using his fastball more times than not because he knows how to change speeds. Saturday he was in full control of his pitch selection.

"Yeah, I mean I only threw one curve ball and two change ups," he said. "I changed with the harder fastball and the slower fastball. I changed the speed of my fastball and threw a bunch of cutters, and some sliders and that was it. I just located the fastball well and the cutter was there when I needed it."

Gomez is happy with the way Haughian has been throwing as of late especially Saturday.

"He has been pitching very well," he said. "He has won five out of the last six starts. He just has been pitching well, mixing his pitches, locating, and is in total command on the mound."

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