A Rivalry Renewed - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

A Rivalry Renewed

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Michael Ploger -

MORGANTOWN - One game.  No series, no second chances, no next time.  The Mountaineers are about to have their chance to shut-out the Pitt Panthers.

While it won't be taking place in 60,000 seat stadium, or a packed Coliseum, this is still one of the most fierce rivalries in college sports.  Itching to be once again be a part of it?  Here is your chance.

The West Virginia baseball team (27-18) will be hosting the Panthers on Tuesday, April 30.  It's one of just eight home games in Morgantown for WVU, and the last one of this season. 

This will be the second time the two teams have met this season.  They battled at Pitt halfway through March, and the Mountaineers had the upper hand.

Michael Constantini hit a bases-loaded single in the first half of the ninth inning to give the Mountaineers a one-run lead with just three outs to fight for.  Pascal Raul would strike out the final two batters to seal the deal.

The Panthers are 23-5 since that day, with three of those losses coming in a series sweep against South Florida.

Casey Roche is the one to look out for on the Pittsburgh squad.  The junior has started all 42 games in the outfield, and is hitting .358.  That includes his team-leading 62 hits and 53 RBI's.  Let's not overlook the fact he has scored more runs than any of his teammates, making it look like this is a one-man team.

Team ball is exactly what the Mountaineers are rolling with at this point in the season.  Their on a five game winning streak as they just closed out a sweep of the Kansas Jayhawks.

With just 11 more games until the Big 12 Tournament begins in Oklahoma City, the Mountaineers have found a good time to get hot.  They're 9-6 and sitting in a two way tie for third place with Kansas State.

Immediately after this game with Pitt, they'll "host" conference leading Oklahoma down in Charleston.  There they could meet perhaps the most powerful pitcher in college baseball.

Right-hander Jonathan Gray is one of the top prospects for the 2013 MLB draft.  The ace consistently reaches 94-98 mph with his fastball, and has allowed just four hits combined in his previous two starts.  He's 7-1 with a 1.09 ERA in ten starts this season.

Anyways to get back on track, this isn't just another game against Pitt this week for West Virginia.  It's the last time this year we'll see these two schools meet with major implications.

West Virginia must keep their stride as the difficulty in schedule is just now about to hit.  Pitt is looking for revenge, and hopes to stay just one game back of USF.

Hawley Field is the place to be this week as the clocks turn backwards and the Backyard Brawl is born once again.

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