Thursday, April 17, 2014
SCARBOROUGH - Ben Greenberg had a good season as a sophomore pitcher at Scarborough, but he wanted to get better. So he went to work in the offseason, refining his pitching and getting stronger.
Ben Greenberg was determined to get stronger before his junior season at Scarborough, and he became a force at the plate in addition to being one of the state’s top pitchers.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
TELEGRAM ALL-STATE BASEBALL
Ben Greenberg, Scarborough, junior, pitcher
Greenberg was 6-0 with a 0.54 ERA in the regular season. His fastball was consistently in the mid-to-high 80s. He has verbally committed to play at Fordham.
Matt Martin, Hampden Academy, junior, pitcher
The hard-throwing Martin had a 7-0 record with a 1.75 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 44 innings, and was Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference North Player of the Year. He has verbally committed to play at Maine.
Keenen Lowe, Westbrook, senior, first base
Lowe batted .405 and didn't make an error at first base. He was also a top pitcher and was especially effective in the playoffs.
Jake Dexter, Messalonskee, sophomore, second base
Dexter hit .452 and led the Eastern Class A champion in most other offensive categories. He was also defensive anchor and was adept at turning the double play. Dexter didn't pitch until the end of the season but got all three wins in the regionals.
Max McCoomb, Marshwood, senior, shortstop
McCoomb was the second-leading hitter in the SMAA with a .442 average. He had a .957 fielding percentage, and led the SMAA in hits (23), RBI (23) and runs (22).
Jeff Gelinas, Thornton Academy, senior, third base
When he wasn't pitching, Gelinas played third base and flashed a strong glove. He hit .378 and led the SMAA in home runs (four), slugging percentage (.784) and on-base percentage (.600). Gelinas will play at Maine.
Kyle Heath, Westbrook, junior, catcher
Heath won the SMAA batting title with a .444 average and sparked the Blue Blazes to the Class A state championship. His strong arm enabled him to throw out the majority of runners who attempted to steal. Heath has been a starter since his freshman year.
Thomas Fortier, Falmouth, senior, outfield
Fortier was Western Maine Conference Class B Player of the Year. He batted .404 and led the Yachtsmen in several categories, including hits (23) and doubles (5), and was 7-1 as a pitcher with three no-hitters.
Bailey Train, Greely, junior, outfield
Train batted .435 with five homers, 25 RBI and 20 runs scored. As a pitcher, Train had a 5-1 record with a 1.31 ERA.
Gabe Smith, Winslow, senior, outfield
A key player in Winslow's march to the Eastern Class B title, Smith batted .395 and scored 21 runs. He will attend Bowdoin.
Ryan Rebar, Foxcroft Academy, senior, utility
Rebar won the Winkin Award as the state's Mr. Baseball. He batted .339 with 11 RBI and 12 stolen bases. As a pitcher he was 6-1 with a 1.02 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 41 innings.
Adam Bailey, York, senior, utility
Bailey finished with a 7-2 pitching mark, including three playoff wins, and batted .375. He will play baseball at Southern Maine.
Coaches of the Year
Chuck Chadbourne, York, and Greg Souza, Westbrook
Chadbourne guided York to the Class B state title in his first year with the Wildcats after several years at Wells. Souza led Westbrook to the Class A title in his second year as head coach after five seasons as an assistant. Both made the right moves as their teams got hot in the playoffs.
The work paid off. Greenberg had a dominating season both on the mound and at the plate. He went from a .190 batting average as a sophomore to a .415 average this season. He was 6-0 as a pitcher in the regular season, sparking the Red Storm to a 14-2 record and the No. 1 ranking in Western Class A.
He consistently threw in the mid-to-high 80s. He suffered his only loss in the regional semifinals against Portland despite hitting a long home run.
"The season was a lot of fun," said Greenberg. "I wished it had turned out a little differently."
His season was noteworthy. Greenberg gained dual honors as Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year from the Southern Maine Activities Association. He was named Maine's Gatorade Player of the Year and is the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year.
Greenberg will enter his senior year with one less concern -- where he will attend college. He has verbally accepted a baseball scholarship from Fordham. He plans to study business in college and reasoned what better place to study business and the opportunities it can present after graduation than going to college in New York. He also liked the baseball program.
His pitching coach, Bob Agger, pitched for Fordham. Agger and Greenberg have been working together since Greenberg was in Little League.
Those who know Greenberg, particularly his coaches, are as impressed with his character as his baseball talent.
"Ben's character is second to none," said Agger.
Greenberg has gotten bigger and stronger through weight training. He worked on his pitching with Agger and his hitting with Nick Caiazzo of The Edge Baseball and Softball Training Center in Portland.
"I worked with Nick on my hitting," said Greenberg. "He knows me pretty well. He told me last winter that I would be getting a lot of outside pitches. We worked on going the opposite way."
Greenberg's hitting approach was particularly evident in a game against Portland at Hadlock Field in which he went 4 for 4 with two doubles, all to right and right-center, and all hit like they were shot out of a cannon.
This summer Greenberg is playing for Legends Baseball, a travel team out of Middleton, Mass., that plays in showcase tournaments.
Next season Greenberg will lead a young Red Storm team.
"We were a senior team this year," he said. "Next year will be a challenge."
Greenberg plans to continue playing football in the fall and has a good chance to be the Red Storm's starting quarterback.
"I feel playing football helps my competitiveness," he said.
Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: