The more Joe Ravert talked, the more it sounded as if he'd like to start attending La Salle University as quickly as possible.
Like Monday, maybe.
The 6-3, 235-pound Ravert, a senior baseball star at Malvern Prep, committed to the Explorers last September for many of the usual reasons.
Aside from wanting a Catholic college not far from home (Havertown), he developed great rapport with coach Mike Lake and assistant John Duffy, who happens to be a Malvern grad. Also, he especially appreciated the absence of false promises.
"The other schools that recruited me, they all said I'd play right away," Ravert said. "La Salle said, 'We don't guarantee playing time. You have to come in and earn it.' That's how it should be. You have to like coaches who are straight with you."
And you have to love a player who's multidimensional.
In an Inter-Ac League game Friday, the righthanded Ravert hurled six effective innings as the Friars muffled visiting Haverford School, 10-1. Hacking lefthanded out of the No. 5 hole, he also went 3-for-3 with a walk, double and one RBI.
"That was another reason I picked La Salle," he said, smiling. "They said they like me as a pitcher AND hitter. Really, I like getting on the mound the most because you're always busy. Battling against hitters. Trying to get them out. But hitting's fun, too, and I still want to do that.
"I like to get hits when I'm pitching. Help myself out. But when I make outs, I don't get mad because hitting's not my main focus on those days."
Ravert allowed six hits and struck out the same number. Two of the safeties (a bunt included) did not leave the infield and another did so only because of a bad hop.
Strong defense kept Haverford off the board in the sixth. Rightfielder Matt Greskoff gunned down a runner at the plate -- hey, a Ford (Billy) tagged out a Ford (Kevin McGowan) -- and leftfielder Mike DeMatteis went grassward to catch a sinking liner.
"After the first couple innings, I was able to (locate) my fastball," said Ravert, whose brother, Ed, a 2010 Malvern grad, plays baseball for the University of Scranton. "And I was also mixing things up, keeping them off balance. I've gotten to the point where I can throw all of my pitches for strikes at any point in the count. That definitely helps."
Malvern scored a second-inning run on Steve Robinson's groundout. Ravert's RBI double highlighted the four-run fourth while Nick Bateman and Greskoff stroked singles worth two runs apiece in the fifth and sixth, respectively.
The Fords' run came on McGowan's third-inning single.
When asked how special performing so well in two-pronged fashion had made him feel, Ravert shrugged his shoulders and said, "Ah, I'm just happy we won."
He also neglected to mention he has been prominent in Malvern's 4-0 league start with two wins, as many saves and major batting exploits.
He had no problem, however, getting back to 'Splorer talk.
"I'm friends with (Germantown Academy's) Luke Reilly," Ravert said. "I knew him from playing against GA and then we played on the same team last summer. He committed to La Salle first, then they came after me. I'm going to room with Luke. So he's another reason I'm going there."
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