Mazey’s club rallies for a big Sunday win over Texas – The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia and Pitt are storied rivals.
Even though the two haven’t been conference foes in the last decade, the Backyard Brawl is seeing a resurgence in every sport, but especially in baseball. The program has faced the Panthers more than any other opponent in history.
After Tuesday’s win, WVU leads the all-time series 112-93. It was the third meeting of the season, and each took place at a different venue.
Pitt took the first meeting back in March on its home field. WVU then got even with a 3-2 win in 11 innings when the two clashed at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the final rivalry showdown of the season, Mazey’s club defended The Mon with a 9-1 victory.
The skipper hopes the three-game series with Pitt highlights West Virginia’s nonconference schedule for the foreseeable future.
“It just makes a lot of sense to me to play them here, play them at their place and then play them once at PNC Park. It’s good for the fans — our fans, their fans, Pirates fans, the kids. It just makes a ton of sense to me. I hope we can continue to do that,” Mazey said.
The matchup at PNC Park has been a favorite for all involved since it was first played in 2017. The two didn’t square off at the big league park last season due to the pandemic.
Given the success playing in the Pirates stadium, Mazey said he has broached the topic of playing at an MLB venue with other programs that have a ballpark in their region.
“I’ve asked some of those teams to do that, but no one has taken us up on the offer yet. I don’t know that other big league teams are as accommodating to college teams as the Pirates are to us, so we are thankful they let us play up there,” Mazey said. “But that would be really cool. You know, some kids have on their bucket list to visit every MLB stadium in their lifetime. How cool would it be to play our entire schedule in Major League stadiums? Yeah, don’t think that is possible.”
Another perk of taking the collegiate game to the big leagues is the opportunity it provides for the players. They get a taste of what it’s like as a pro and it serves as motivation for their future goals.
With the Big 12 Conference Tournament moving from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City to Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers, it also gives Mazey and company valuable experience playing in that type of venue.
“It’s a great experience for the kids and helps prepare us for the conference tournament down there at Globe Life. That’s a big-league park and when you play in those stadiums that have 20,000-30,000 seats and you only have 3,000 fans, that’s something you’ve got to get used to,” Mazey said. “As many opportunities as we can get playing in those parks, we’ll take advantage of it.”