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Haverford School's Galetta gains from brotherly advice

Matt Galetta

BY THIS TIME next spring, Mike Galetta will be winding down his first season as a baseball assistant at Haverford College.

Or maybe not. Perhaps the Fords will just be starting a run to a Division III national title.

Hey, the free advice now being dispensed by Galetta is proving to be pretty darn effective.

Say hello to Matt Galetta. He's a 5-8, 165-pound senior lefthander at Haverford School, and Mike, the Daily News City Player of the Year in 2007, is his brother.

Though Mike's main strength was hitting, he also slapped together some quality pitching performances, as a fireballing righthander, and a couple of weeks back, he figured his bro might appreciate hearing a tidbit or three. After all, Matt had been struggling.

"I always have total belief in everything he tells me," Matt said. "If he says it, it's true. He hasn't let me down yet."

Friday, using his new approach, Matt pitched a four-hitter with no walks and seven strikeouts as these Fords (yup, same nickname) quelled visiting Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 6-0, in the Inter-Ac League.

Pretty good, right?

Wait. Wanna take a trip to Pales-in-Comparisonville?

Last Saturday, Galetta twirled a one-hitter in a full-boat (as in, seven innings), nonleague performance against Marple Newtown. The very first batter notched the hit, a skipping shot up the middle, then Galetta imposed his on-the-hill will.

Wow, what did Mike tell Matt? Do your pitching from 55 feet and hope the umpires don't notice?

"Mike said to focus on reaching out more," Matt said, referring to the end of his delivery. "That gives me more movement on my fastball. I'm no longer trying to blow guys away. So far, it seems to be more effective.

"Today, I pitched a little backward. I started off with more curveballs until they proved they could hit them. The more I got ahead in the count, I could really mix things up and fool with them. My fastball was jumping around."

Galetta recorded five of his whiffs in the first three frames, which wound up being perfect. Though hints of extra nervousness had not set in . . .

"I was a little bit aware of it," he said. " Pat Valentine threw a no-hitter last week, and lately we've been doing a much better job of shutting teams down. That made me more aware of what was going on, but it's not like is my goal when I go out there."

Zach Jancarski opened the fourth with a scalding double down the leftfield line, and later stole third. He stayed there, however, as Galetta notched a popup, whiff and flyout to center.

SCH's other hits were singles - by A.J. LaBella in the fifth, Jancarski in the sixth and Matt Rowland in the seventh. Those last two guys were erased in doubleplays, and the second one - executed with perfect crispness by second baseman Kevin McGowan and shortstop Chris Sukonik - ended the ballgame.

"We had some fielding problems earlier this season," Galetta said. "Lately, everything has come together. Great job by those guys."

The Blue Devils' starter was senior righty Michael Hayes, who also is the school's quarterback. He yielded seven hits (three of the infield variety) and four runs (two earned) before yielding to Tim Menninger.

McGowan, Sukonik and Drew Field managed two hits apiece for HS, while McGowan collected two RBI.

Mike Galetta completed his college career, which had begun at Saint Joseph's, in 2011 at Haverford College. The Fords set a school record for wins, with 32, and Mike rapped 17 doubles, the most in the program's history.

His playing days are over, however, and he finds himself in the corporate world, while trying to earn a master's degree. Matt, meanwhile, will major in some branch of chemistry.

HS and HC are no more than a booming homer apart on Lancaster Avenue.

"Yeah, at first," Matt said, "I wanted to go as far away as possible. But now I'll be right over there. It's my best move.

"I wish I could have played on the same teams as Mike, but as we've gotten older, he has really become a mentor. He's going to be an awesome coach."

How does he fare as a good-luck charm?

"Well, he wasn't here today and he wasn't there last Saturday," Matt said, smiling. "All the games he goes to, I struggle."

Here's hoping that flaw goes poof!