SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. -- Jordan Hamberg, a South Plainfield High School senior, was recognized on Thursday morning for signing to play baseball in college at Division I-FCS program Coppin State.
Flanked by his parents, South Plainfield coach Anthony Guida, and SPHS principal Robert Diehl, Hamberg talked about why he chose the school located down in Baltimore, Md.
“I like that it’s Division-I and I like the area. It’s 10 minutes away from the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens’ stadiums and from the Harbour. I like the coaches, too. They are very nice.”
According to Hamberg, Coppin State coach Sherman Reed, the 2018 MEAC Coach of the Year, recruited the left-handed pitcher and outfielder due to not only his playing abilities, but his effort as well.
“He liked the way I carried myself. The first play he actually recruited me on was a ground ball back to the pitcher. He liked the way I hustled to first base, and he saw how athletic I was and the fact I pitch and play the outfield. He liked me all around.”
Hamberg was also being recruited by the likes of in-state programs such as Monmouth and Fairleigh Dickinson in addition to DeSales. Kean and Rowan also showed interest, but he liked the Eagles better than the rest.
“The connection they had between me and the players and my family,” Hamberg said on what put Coppin over the top. “They talked a lot to my family, and they cared about us and had a good relationship.
“This one just stood out to me.”
At SPHS, Hamberg is a true student-athlete. He’s a Spanish Honor Society Member, owns a 3.8 GPA out of 4, and has been on the honor roll since the seventh grade. At Coppin, He said he’s going to major in Exercise Science and Sports Management.
On the diamond, Hamberg got called up to varsity near the end of his sophomore season and got his feet wet. Last season as a junior, he hit .351 with 33 hits (eight doubles, two triples, and two home runs) with 14 runs scored and 21 RBI. He also went 5-2 on the mound and sported a 2.33 ERA allowing just 19 walks, 15 earned runs, and 23 hit while striking out 54 in 45 innings.
He pitched a perfect game with 13 strikeouts on May 4 against Woodbridge.
After the season, the Greater Middlesex Conference coaches named him to the All-Conference and All-White Division teams. Hamberg played in the GMCBCA Underclassmen game, for Middlesex County against Union County in the Quad County Underclassmen All-Star doubleheader, and for the North team in the inaugural North-South Underclassmen game.
“I think the great thing about Jordan is that he speaks with his bat and with his arm. A lot of kids see what they see on TV and are vocal and have social media whereas Jordan just wants to show you on the field. I’ve always liked that about him. He respects the game and he’s very humble,” Guida said. “He’s a pleasure to coach.
“If you can compete at a Division-I level and they want you to come there, I think you have to bite and jump at that. It’s close enough, yet far enough. As you go south, the competition gets better and better. If you’re playing Division-I and going south, you’re doing something right. It’s a great spot.”
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.