Ben Greenberg's decision to play Division I baseball at Fordham University was a lot like a scene from The Godfather: The Rams made Greenberg a decision he couldn't refuse.
According to Greenberg, Fordham coaches came to see him play twice last month. The Rams made him a scholarship offer after watching him pitch for Scarborough High School in the Western Maine Class A playoffs, and then increased that offer after seeing him pitch in an AAU game later in the month.
“They upped their offer to a point where I couldn't say no,” said Greenberg, a junior who committed Saturday night.
Greenberg, who was named Maine's Gatorade Player of the Year, also has scholarship offers from Northeastern, Bryant, Rhode Island and Maine. He said Holy Cross and Dartmouth – schools that do not offer baseball scholarships – also showed significant interest.
Greenberg said it was tough to pass up the opportunity to play at the University of Maine.
“I definitely thought about it, but one of my initial goals was to play out of state,” he explained. “Baseball-wise Fordham is competitive, and there are not many schools that beat a Fordham education, especially in the business field, which is what I'm interested in.”
It probably didn't hurt that Bobby Agger, Greenberg's longtime pitching coach, pitched at Fordham.
“There was no outside influence from me,” Agger said. “I think a lot of arrows pointed in that direction. I think the coaching staff there makes it a place where you want to send your kid to for four years when they leave the nest.”
Greenberg made a name for himself when he tossed a no-hitter at the varsity level as a freshman. He completed his junior season with a 6-1 record and a 0.54 ERA. Opponents hit .163 against him. He struck out 46 and walked five in 39 innings.
Greenberg, who plays third base when he's not on the mound, also hit .415. He's 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, and will move from receiver to quarterback for the Scarborough football team this fall.
"He has great control of a fastball, curve and slider,” Kennebunk coach Brian Dill said. “He's one of the top pitchers we've faced, and he might be the best hitter.''
Greenberg throws 86-88 m.p.h., and has good movement on his offspeed pitches.
“My curveball is my go-to pitch,” said Greenberg, who is playing for the Legends Baseball AAU program this summer. “It's my strikeout pitch.”
Agger said Greenberg's poise on the mound and work ethic are among his strengths.
“I'll share this story with you,” Agger said. “I sent him a video in the winter where a guy was doing these workout drills in the sand. The next day I drive by the beach and I see his car there. He's out there doing those drills. I can't say enough about his character.
“I think Fordham's first offer was a good one, but the second one helped him make his decision and took a weight off his shoulders.”