Jeff McGarry liked the University of Pennsylvania's leafy, historic campus.
He liked the school's Ivy League status, as well as the direction of the baseball program.
It added up to a simple decision for McGarry: The Lenape pitcher has committed to attend Penn and play baseball for the Quakers.
"It just seemed like the right choice," McGarry said. "When I visited, I loved the campus. It has all these old buildings, and it doesn't feel like you are in the middle of the city of Philadelphia.
"The coaches kept stressing to me that if baseball doesn't work out, I'll have an Ivy League education, and that's hard to beat."
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound McGarry, a righthander, went 7-2 on the mound last season as Lenape won the Olympic American and Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic titles and finished No. 1 in South Jersey in The Inquirer Top 10.
McGarry had a 1.51 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 51 innings. Also a top hitter who plays third base when he's not pitching, McGarry batted .378 with eight doubles and three home runs.
"Jeff is the type of player that all coaches wish they had in their programs," Lenape coach Phil Fiore said. "His work ethic is second to none. His maturity on the field, especially on the mound, has helped him become the player he is."
McGarry is the second Lenape senior to commit to play Division I baseball at a Philadelphia college. Shortstop and No. 3 hitter Stefan Kancylarz has committed to St. Joseph's.
McGarry and Kancylarz are among a core group of returning players that should have Lenape in contention for division, sectional, and state championships in the spring.
"I think we're going to hit better than we did last year," McGarry said. "Our expectations are really high. We have a lot of experienced players back. We're hoping to win a South Jersey title and maybe a state title."