Ben Greenberg only had to look at his sophomore season to know the source of his motivation. After a good freshman season as a pitcher and third baseman for the Scarborough High varsity, Greenberg slumped as a sophomore.
“I didn’t perform like I should have,” he said. “My goal my freshman year was to make the varsity. I did and pitched well. I guess I was almost satisfied with that. I kind of plateaued (the next year). But I knew that if I wanted to play in college, I would have to pick it up. It drove me to work harder.”
And work he did.
Greenberg started getting serious with weight training along with pitching and hitting. He trained at local clinics with special coaches for hitting and pitching, and had a trainer for his lifting. The transformation from his sophomore to junior season was apparent.
Bigger and stronger, Greenberg ripped the ball at the plate and was dominating on the mound. He continued that strong play this season.
Asked to reflect on his high school career, Greenberg said: “I think there was some success, but it all started with my failure to perform during my sophomore year.”
Greenberg was named the Maine Sunday Telegram League Player of The Year as a junior and repeated as a senior. He is also a two-time Maine Gatorade Player of the Year, and last month received the Dr. John Winkin Award as the state’s Mr. Baseball.
“To win such a prestigious award with Coach Winkin’s name on it and all the things he has done for baseball in the state, I realized how lucky and blessed I am,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg’s veteran leadership was called upon this season because Scarborough had a young team. The Red Storm dropped their first four games before rebounding to finish with a 9-6-1 regular-season record and the fifth seed in Western Class A. Scarborough won a preliminary-round game before losing to Marshwood in the quarterfinals.
Greenberg had a 5-2 record and a 1.18 ERA, striking out 52 in 412/3 innings. He also batted .381 with four doubles and three triples, and scored 16 runs.
On the bases he showed the speed that made him an effective runner at quarterback last fall, stealing 10 bases in 11 attempts. Defensively, Greenberg played an errorless third base.
Coach Ryan Jones credited Greenberg’s leadership and ability for helping to turn around the season after a slow start.
Throughout the season, Greenberg set an example for younger players.
“The kids naturally gravitated to Ben,” Jones said. “He was always positive with his actions and his body language. His play stood out and it was good for the kids to see that commitment and dedication from a player like Ben.”
Greenberg was bothered by tendinitis his sophomore year but did get to pitch in the state championship game against Messalonskee.
“I pitched pretty well and my arm felt good,” he said.
Greenberg is pitching this summer for the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
“I’ve pitched mostly in relief, with one start of four innings. Pitching in this league should help me prepare for college ball,” he said.
He said his biggest moment has been striking out a player from Boston College.
Greenberg will pitch at Fordham in New York City. “I’m excited about getting there,” he said.