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Three baseball players’ journey from N.J. to W.Va.

Marshall University may be in West Virginia, but the baseball team has major contributions from the Garden State.

Senior pitcher Matt Margaritonda and infielder Andrew Dundon are two veteran leaders for the Thundering Herd from the New Jersey.

Freshman pitcher Fernando Guerrero also made the trip down from New Jersey to play for coach Jeff Waggoner.

Margaritonda said he enjoyed an illustrious high school career at St. John Vianney in Freehold, New Jersey.

Margaritonda won Rookie of the Year, three MVPs and a Cy Young Award in his conference.

Margaritonda said he never expected to attend school in West Virginia, but Marshall presented the best situation.

“It was kind of shocking,” Margaritonda said. “I would never picture myself in West Virginia from New Jersey but a couple schools were looking at me, and Marshall was the best fit for me and my family.”

Margaritonda said he saw the level of competition within C-USA as the biggest reason to join the Herd.

“My freshman year coming in, C-USA was stacked,” Margaritonda said. “It’s still pretty good competition now but, as a freshman, seeing those names, I wanted to come here.”

Dundon is another one of the four true seniors on the baseball team, but he is from further north than Margaritonda, having played his high school ball at Boonton High in Lincoln Park.

However, he had success in high school as he received the 2011 New Jersey Athletic Conference Liberty Player of the Year award, and is the all-time leader at Boonton High in four different categories.

Guerrero is in his first year with the Thundering Herd from Elizabeth High in Elizabeth, New Jersey, this fall.

Guerrero said he believes the college competition has an entirely different mentality than what he faced in high school.

“The mental aspect of the game is crazy in college,” Guerrero said. “In high school, you just have kids, from freshmen to seniors, just playing, but in college everyone is here for one goal and the grind.”

As the regular season winds down, so do the Marshall careers of Margaritonda and Dundon.

Adam Polsky can be contacted at [email protected].