The WVU baseball season is in full swing and although the weather may not fully cooperate, the players are itching to play at Monongalia County Ballpark.
Not only is it exciting to play at the state-of-the-art facility in Morgantown, the upcoming home game provides a little extra punch as it is the Backyard Brawl.
The Mountaineers and Pitt Panthers face each other twice each year and the first meeting is Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. Basketball and football both have the Mountaineers and Panthers coming up on future schedules, but the baseball teams will always rely on the Backyard Brawl to get through the season.
With the WVU baseball team traveling extensively throughout the season, having a game against a close opponent is important. Even if there was no storied history between the two programs, having Pitt and West Virginia play each other just makes logistical sense in any sport.
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West Virginia and Pitt have a storied rivalry and according to WVUsports.com, it is the oldest rivalry for the WVU baseball team. The Mountaineers own a 106-88 advantage in the all-time series which has been played 194 times.
This season, the WVU baseball team is off to a rocky start. The record is 9-12 overall and it is coming off three-consecutive loss on the road to Oklahoma. The Pitt game will give the Mountaineers a chance to get back on track, considering the WVU baseball team has put together a nice run against the Panthers in recent years.
West Virginia swept the two-game season series last season with Isaiah Kerns pitching. He is scheduled to pitch in the next match up against the Panthers. West Virginia has also won eight of the last 11 games against Pitt.
To all who say that the Backyard Brawl doesn’t need to be played, they are flat-out wrong. Even though the football series is a few years away, having the Backyard Brawl in baseball still provides a sense of pride for both fanbases.
Both programs are in new, unique conferences. West Virginia has been breaking through in the Big 12 the past few seasons and the Panthers are still finding their footing in the ACC. Even though WVU baseball coach Randy Mazey is a true-blue Big 12 guy, it’s good that he still sees the importance of this regional rivalry.