No. 1 Calvert Hall's coaches say their junior pitcher Ben Deaver has "tremendous upside."
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound right-hander has good repetition in his delivery, movement on his fastball, a confidence-destroying slider and a curve ball that assistant coach Brooks Kerr says is almost a guaranteed out.
"When he has two strikes on a batter, you can expect the curve and it's a done deal," Kerr said of Deaver, who has received interest from a number of colleges, including Navy, Rider and Delaware.
Last week, Deaver (2.33 ERA with one win and one save) learned he's been accepted into the Naval Academy's Summer Seminar program, a fast-paced leadership experience for rising seniors that helps educate and prepare selected students who are considering applying for admission.
Deaver — also a member of Calvert Hall's volleyball and indoor track teams — has a 3.5 GPA and loves math and his honors physics class.
Being accepted into the Naval Academy's Summer Seminar, what does that mean to you?
I'm excited. It means this summer I'll go to Navy for a week and do what the Naval Academy students do. It's a good learning experience that lets you figure out if the Naval Academy is right for you. I think it will be a good fit because I like discipline.
How long have you been playing baseball?
Since I was 3 years old. I remember playing T-ball on my older brother Brian's team. He's four years older than I am. I was 3 and the other kids were 7.
You must have been very good from the beginning. What is it you like about the game?
I just love the game. It's a game you can go 3-for-10 and still have a good day. I've been a pitcher and a third baseman my whole life. Last year here, I was a reliever.
This season you're a starter on the mound?
They won't tell me. They've always told me I'm good enough to be a third baseman and a pitcher. So I do all the workouts in the field for the field players and then I do all the work required for the pitchers. My arm doesn't get a lot of rest. But it keeps me active, loose and ready for the game.
How many different pitches do you have?
I have a fastball, a slider, a curve and I'm working on a change-up. Our pitching coach John McKay told me you have to have a really good change-up for college. ... My teammate Andrew Witczak is trying to teach me. I threw one in the Georgetown Prep game. It was a ball, but the hitter was timing the fastball and he was swinging way out in front of the change-up. So I got the guy to swing and make an out.
Do you participate in activities at school other than sports?
There isn't time. I'm in honors classes and that takes all my extra time. Volleyball is everyday after school, and so is baseball. The shot [put] keeps me strong and doing something in the winter.
What's the most fun you've ever had?
When I was 12 or 13, playing for a Westminster team in a [United States Specialty Sports Association] tournament, we won a national championship. I was in the newspaper. I pitched three of the four games, hit two home runs and batted .700. It was so much fun.
And your biggest disappointment?
As a freshman here I got cut from the varsity and from the junior varsity and had to go to the freshman team. It traumatized me my freshman year. I worked really hard over that next summer to make the varsity my sophomore year. It taught me a lesson, because I didn't really prepare well coming in to my freshman year.
Do you have a goal for this season?
I want us to win the MIAA championship, and I want us to get a national ranking. And I want to be a starter. But whatever I have to do for us to win, I'll be happy to do it. I know if a pitcher gets in trouble I'm coming in and I can do relief, too.