"I've been looking at colleges all summer and I finally found the one that wants me," Freed said. "I have some friends that play ball over there, like Ross Carter from Risco, and everybody that I've known that's played there have told me that they loved it so I thought I'd give it a try."
With the help of his high school coach, Matt Limbaugh, Freed said said he had been trying out for colleges through the summer and was considering accepting a walk-on role with Southeastern Illinois.
After earning a tryout with Crowley's Ridge and talking to their head coach Paul McFadden, however, Freed changed his plans.
"I went up there and it was just a one-man tryout with me and their coach," Freed said. "Just having a little small talk with him before the tryout he seemed like he liked me from first glance.
"Then I went up there and threw my little bullpen session and he came up to the mound smiling, shook my hand and said straight to my face 'I want you to come pitch for me next year.'"
Following the signing, McFadden said, "Ben brings a competitiveness to our pitching staff that will be needed this upcoming season. He throws the ball hard and I believe with strength, he can add speed.
"I am looking forward to Ben being in our program."
During his last high school season with Scott Central, Freed help guide the Braves to an 11-8 record and their first district tournament win since 2004 while batting .412 with 16 runs batted in and two home runs on the year.
"Ben is a hard nosed guy," Limbaugh said. "He is a great competitor. His arm could be completely shot one day and he'll still come out there and throw as many pitches as you want him to.
"He'll never complain about any arm problems and he'll come out and try to eat up as many innings as possible. He can only continue to get better. He will continue to grow into his body and just continue to get better and he will be a great asset to the team."
Limbaugh added, "He's going to a good situation there at Crowley's Ridge where the coach wanted him badly and said we need you to eat some innings for us.
"Ben's very capable of doing that. He's going to come in there with a great work ethic and a good knowledge of the game to hopefully make the Pioneers successful."
Crowley's Ridge competes in the Central Region of the National Christian College Athletic Association and is located in Paragould, Ark.