Dec. 3, 2010
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall University baseball team recently announced its 2011 signing class, which features 14 players to join head coach Jeff Waggoner and the Thundering Herd ball club. Twelve of the 14 future Herd members are coming to Huntington from high school, while a pair of players are from Seminole State College (JC) in Oklahoma.
A total of eight players were selected as Preseason All-Americans, four by Under Armour and four more were selected by Rawlings/Perfect Game, while four ball players have all competed on the same summer league team, the South Florida Bandits.
“Coach Renner and Coach Donnelly did a great job recruiting this past year and I’m really excited about the incoming class for next season,” Waggoner said. “The coaching staff puts in a lot of hard work talking to these kids and I know they are all ready to make an impact on the Marshall baseball program.”
Eric Escobedo, OF
Andrew Dundon, INF
Lincoln Park, N.J./Boonton HS
The middle infielder earned All-Morris County Honorable Mention and Second Team All NJAC-Liberty Division honors in 2010. As a sophomore he was named an All-Daily Record member, Second Team All-Colonial Hills and All-Morris County Honorable Mention selection, while hitting .481 at the dish and posting a 3-1 record on the mound. In 2008 he garnered All-Colonial Hills Conference Honorable Mention honors.
West Point, Ga./Troup HS
Escobedo has started in the outfield his first three years at Troup HS and has earned the Mr. Troup Baseball MVP Award and the Silver Slugger Award. As a junior, Escobedo registered a .402 batting average, .509 on-base percentage and .759 slugging percentage. He roped 36 hits, including nine homers and seven doubles. He has played three seasons with the Ohio Warhawks and helped the team win its 10th National Championship in the summer of 2009. Escobedo has played with future teammate Aaron Blair on the Warhawks, which has produced MLB players such as Roy Halladay, Brandon Phillips and Brian Roberts.
Mark Esposito, INF
Bethany, Conn./Amity HS
Esposito was rated the 14th best third baseman in the nation and also earned 2010 Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason All-American recognition. He hit .390 during his junior season and is ranked the third best player in the state of Connecticut. The power hitting infielder was voted onto the 2009 and 2011 Perfect Game All-Star team. He played summer baseball for the South Florida Bandits.
A.J. Farris, OF
Lawrenceville, Ga./Collins Hill HS
In 2010, Farris was named a Perfect Game Preseason All-American along with earning the All-County Scott McIntyre Hustle and Attitude Award. He was selected as a 2011 Under Armour Preseason All-American and has roamed the outfield for Collins Hill HS in the one of the most talented divisions in the state of Georgia. He helped his high school capture the Region 7-AAAAA Championship in 2010, while hitting at a .392 clip. Farris roped five doubles, two triples, two homers and scored 23 times. An interesting stat on Farris, 60 percent of the time he reached base he scored.
Jared Knoll, RHP
Oakton, Va./Flint Hill School
The right-hander is a two-time First Team All-Mid-Atlantic Conference selection and led his team to consecutive conference titles in 2009 and 2010. He ended the 2010 campaign with a 3-1 record and 2.40 ERA. Knoll tallied better than a strikeout-per-inning, registering 37 punch outs in 35 innings on the hill. A member of the 2010 Virginia Commonwealth North Team and was named a 2010 Rawlings/Perfect Game All-American Underclass Honorable Mention. He played summer baseball for NVTBL Stars National Team.
Sergio Leon, INF
Miami, Fla./Braddock HS
Leon collected a .350 batting average during his junior season and has been the starting shortstop for three seasons. He was named All-Miami Dade Honorable Mention on two occasions and a member of the district champion Braddock HS squad in 2008. Leon clubbed two homers, knocked in 13 runs and scored 18 times as a junior.
Matt Margaritonda, RHP
Freehold, N.J./St. Johns Vianney
The righty earned All-Class A Central Division honors as a junior and was selected as a 2011 Under Armour Underclassman Preseason All-American. Margaritonda picked up team MVP honors as a freshman and sophomore and top-team pitcher in 2009 and 2010. He topped his team in homers, saves and named the most versatile player on his team. He collected a 1.21 ERA as a sophomore and 0.94 ERA during his junior campaign. While playing for the South Florida Bandits, Margaritonda posted a 6-1 record with a minuscule 0.24 ERA.
Brett Mays, RHP
Newport News, Va./Woodside HS
The 6-foot-6 right-hander was named an Under Armour Preseason All-American in 2010. Mays earned second team all-district honors as a junior by posting a 7-3 record, 2.70 ERA and collecting 59 strikeouts in 60 innings on the mound for Woodside HS. An all-district honorable mention pick in 2009, he finished the year with a 5-2 record, logging 41 innings and registering a 2.65 ERA. He also competed at the Cal Ripken Fall Showdown in Myrtle Beach. Mays received varsity letters in golf and swimming, while maintaining a 3.87 GPA.
John “Tee” McConnell, INF
Poquoson, Va./Poquoson HS
McConnell has played four years and is a two-time captain at Poquoson HS, which captured back-to-back state championships. During his junior season, McConnell hit at a .384 clip with 38 hits, scored 40 runs, knocked in 28 along with walking 20 times and registering a .504 on-base percentage. In nine postseason games in 2010, he posted a .533 batting average with 16 hits, 12 runs and 11 RBI. He played for the Canes Showcase baseball team and led the club with a .471 average at the plate and attended the National Junior Showcase. Perfect Game ranked McConnell the 14th best middle infielder in the country of the 2011 class. He was named an Under Armour Preseason All-American in 2010 and also earned four letters on the varsity football team.
Joe McGillicuddy, RHP
Fairfax, Va./WT Woodson HS
Pitched on the varsity squad since his freshman year and was named an All-Patriot District selection in 2010. McGillicuddy was named a 2010 Rawlings/Perfect Game Third Team Underclassman All-American. His twin brother Joe McGillicuddy will also be joining the Herd.
John McGillicuddy, RHP
Fairfax, Va./WT Woodson HS
The right-hander earned All-Patriot District honors in 2010. McGillicuddy was selected as an All-Region and All-Liberty District player in 2009. During the summer of 2010 McGillicuddy pitched for the Virginia Barnstormers. He was named the NABF High School World Series MVP along with earning Rawlings/Perfect Game All-American honors. He has played on varsity at WT Woodson HS since his freshman year.
Wayland Moore, LHP
McLoud, Okla./Seminole State JC
Moore worked in 15 games in 2010 for Seminole State JC. He finished with a 5-2 overall record, while logging 27 total innings. He collected 23 strikeouts during his time on the mound.
Mike Ramirez, OF
Miami, Fla./LaSalle HS
Ramirez plays at the same high school as current Marshall standouts Victor and Nathan Gomez. He was named an All-Miami Dade Third Team selection in 2010. Ramirez earned a spot on the 2010 Selective Recruiting Magazine First Team All-Miami Dade. Earned the LaSalle top offensive player award by launching three homers, collecting 20 RBI, eight doubles along with a .579 slugging percentage. Ramirez captured the 2010 LaSalle homerun derby championship.
Jorge Rodriguez, LHP
Duncanville, Texas/Seminole State JC
The southpaw pitched in 15 games in 2010, collecting 16 strikeouts and three saves out of the Seminole State bullpen. He spent the past summer playing for the Thunder Bay Border Cats of the Northwoods League.