Hard-Working Marino Headed To South Alabama

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Hard-Working Marino Headed To South Alabama

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Anthony Marino SS / RHP / Bishop Fenwick, MA / 2023

LYNN, Ma. - It was junior year of high school at Bishop Fenwick when Anthony Marino made the decision.

“I was 140-150 pounds and said, this isn’t going to cut it,” the 13th-rated 2023 shortstop in Massachusetts reflected. “In the offseason I got it in my mind I was going to gain weight and put myself in the best position possible. I got in the gym and I put on 30 pounds in 13-14 months and weigh 180 now. That all correlated onto the baseball field.”

It was the following fall when it all paid off.

“My cousin in Long Island reached out and asked if I was interested in playing on a traveling team with him,” Marino noted. “I was traveling with his team to a couple of cities in Alabama and one of the stops was South Alabama. I had a workout on their field and after that they were all over me and I ran with it. Taking advantage of that opportunity was a big thing.”

A month later an offer was presented and the 137th-ranked senior in New England accepted, though an announcement of the commitment did not come until a few months later. But there was no indecision on the part of the Bishop Fenwick 2023, who had reclassified his sophomore year.

“The moment I walked on campus I knew I wanted to call it home,” Marino related. “I love the winning culture the coach has instilled in his players. There was also the weather. Baseball is tough here.”

A connection was made according to the 19-year-old.

“The coaches were very good to me,” Marino said. “They were open and honest during the whole process which made it very enjoyable. It was not stressful at all.

“I was considering a couple of local schools,” Marino added. “But the weather …”

More stood out about the idea of playing so far from home.

“I love the southern culture,” Marino said. “Plus, my sister goes to Alabama so this will make it easy for my family.”

There was a lot about the switch-hitting shortstop that made an impression on South Alabama.

“They like my athleticism,” the 20th-rated senior SS in New England pointed out. “I hit three home runs in BP and I flashed my glove. They also know I can pitch. They got me as a two-way.

“That was a big selling point for me. I love pitching. But my bat and glove is something I didn’t want to give up. To be able to compete at both on that high level was a big selling point.”

It fulfills an aspiration established in his youth.

“It’s always been a dream of mine since I started baseball to take the game as far as I can,” Marino explained. “Around Little League I started thinking about what I can do to get to college baseball.”

Prep Baseball Report helped in that regard.

“Going to showcases and getting numbers out there for coaches to see was big for me,” Marino said. “They want to know everything they can about you.”

Fortunately, there was also that recommendation from a cousin to play on his team.

“If I didn’t go on that trip with him I might not have gotten recognized,” Marino admitted. Taking that opportunity was huge. It’s crazy.”

It brought on a surreal feeling once a commitment to the Sun Belt Conference university was made.

“Thinking about all the time I put into the game and all I went through the past few years, I get emotional just thinking about it,” Marino related. “It was a long process with family health. My dad was diagnosed with brain cancer a year before I committed and for him to see this…

“He’s the one who taught me this game. He coached me in Little League and Babe Ruth, until I was 15-years-old. He means everything to me. From the time I was three or four, he gave me a ball and put a glove on me. He taught me right from wrong and put me into the best position to have a great future. He instilled hard work, telling me nobody is going to give you handouts.”

Those values taught by his father, who has now been cancer-free for a year-and-a-half, will carry on at South Alabama.

“I’m a team player and will do whatever it takes to win,” Marino said. “I won’t give bad vibes and I’m not a cancer in the locker room. I lift teammates up. I’m a good student and I'm hard working, not looking for handouts. I’ll do the best I can do to help the team.”

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