Corey Crispell answers questions the way he pitches.
No fuss, no muss.
"I work fast," the Hatboro-Horsham senior said.
According to Crispell, that's one of the reasons the Hatters are 5-0 when he's on the mound and 1-5 when he isn't. A no-nonsense approach equals alert fielders.
Of course, the soft-spoken Crispell never mentioned the primary reason.
When you've allowed only one earned run in 37 innings and you've already been featured in Sports Illustrated, is there any need to point out the obvious?
"I've had a lot of support," Crispell said.
Perhaps, but in the season opener against William Tennent, the righthander was a one-man team. Crispell not only struck out 22 batters in the nine-inning affair, but he also stroked the game-winning grand slam as the Hatters won, 4-0.
That performance landed him in "Faces in the Crowd" in the April 11 issue of SI. It also reversed an early-season jinx Crispell had endured the last few years.
Last season, the Delaware recruit battled Central Bucks East's J.D. Reichenbach in his first start. Reichenbach, now at Elon University, was under the watchful eye of major-league scouts (he eventually was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 20th round). Crispell failed to make an impression.
"I wasn't very good," said Crispell, who took a no decision.
He lost his next game, but hasn't lost one for Hatboro-Horsham since.
The 6-foot-4 Crispell credits a dedicated off-season weightlifting regimen for his strong start. A lean 185 pounds last year, Crispell is still thin at 200, but the added muscle gave his once-low-80s fastball a high-80s pop.
"Over the winter, I knew I was getting stronger," he said.
In November, Crispell chose Delaware over La Salle and Lehigh. He says now that he doesn't regret the early signing, even if some of the more glamorous programs may have been drawn to his eye-opening senior campaign.
The pros, however, have noticed. At his last start, a Phillies and combine scout made an appearance. And Crispell still has at least one more start to make an impression as the Hatters vie for a PIAA District 1 Class AAAA playoff berth.
Unfortunately, because of differing rotations, Crispell won't face off against Souderton's Kyle Greenwalt, the area's top pitching prospect, when the teams meet tomorrow. It's Crispell's day off (he pitched yesterday against C.B. East), although Greenwalt could go.
"I hope he does," said Crispell, who plays occasionally in the outfield or as the designated hitter. "It would be great to say you went up against a guy that was drafted in the first round."
If Crispell bats the way he pitches, here's guessing he'll swing at Greenwalt's first offering.
On the shoulder
Coatesville pitcher Ben White underwent surgery on his right shoulder April 30.
The procedure was performed by Craig Morgan of Wilmington Hospital in Delaware and was similar to the operation Morgan performed on former Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling in 1999.
"It was to repair the capsule," White, a senior righthander, said a day after the surgery. "It was more preventative. This way, I'm only out for three or four months as opposed to a whole year."
The Temple-bound White's season was shut down after he made two starts. Last year, he went 5-1 as the Red Raiders won the District 1 Class AAAA title. He expects to be ready in time for the Owls' fall baseball session.
"Temple's still a go," White said. "They've been very supportive."
La Salle High catcher Sean Saverio has signed a letter of intent to play for La Salle University. Saverio's father, Lee, is the Explorers' head coach. . . . Holy Ghost Prep pitcher/shortstop Stephen Sable has committed to Gwynedd-Mercy College.