· By Whitney Hunt
DIRTY BIRDS TO HOST MARSHALL VS. WVU GAME ON MARCH 12
Marshall and West Virginia University continue their historic rivalry at GoMart Ballpark
(Charleston, WV – February 12, 2024) – Before the highly anticipated 2024 Dirty Birds Baseball season, GoMart Ballpark will host the annual baseball game between Marshall University and West Virginia University on March 12. This annual match-up in Charleston between the two teams dates back to the 2005 opening of Charleston’s professional baseball park. After a three-year hiatus that started in 2020 with a Covid cancellation, the rivalry resumed last year with a capacity crowd of more than 5,000 fans.
On April 5, 2023, Marshall took a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the 7th inning, but WVU scored three in the 8th and added four more in the 9th to win 15-9. The win was WVU’s fifth straight in Charleston over their in-state rivals, including two more extra inning victories in 2016 and 2018, when future Major Leaguer Alex Manoah was the winning pitcher in 13 innings. Marshall’s last win over WVU in Charleston came in 2015.
Over the years, both Marshall and WVU have used Charleston’s ballpark as their home field for NCAA baseball games with Marshall hosting its home games here more frequently over several years. While new ballpark projects were pending in both Morgantown and Huntington and the universities needed a high quality facility to host their biggest games, GoMart Ballpark (formerly Appalachian Power Park) delivered in the clutch. “We’re thankful and excited to continue this tradition of igniting the excitement of baseball in Charleston each year with this incredible event,” said Ben Blum, Dirty Birds General Manager.
This year marks Marshall Head Coach Greg Beals’ second season with The Herd. He was announced as the 29th head coach in program history in January of 2023, which makes this his first season after a full off-season and recruiting cycle.
WVU Head Coach Randy Mazey announced this will be his last season with the Mountaineers. He has been at the helm since 2013 and led the Mountaineers to their first postseason in 21 years in 2017. His 336-250 record at WVU makes him the third winningest head coach in program history.
Both teams have high ranked players on their rosters, but JJ Wetherholt is already making headlines ahead of the 2024 season. According to MLB.com, Baseball America, and Perfect Game, the Junior infielder is projected to be the number one pick at this year’s MLB Draft. In his Sophomore season, the left-handed hitter was named Big 12 Player of the Year. He is also a preseason favorite to be a Golden Spikes Award finalist.
"Many great ballplayers have showcased their skills at GoMart Ballpark and we are excited to see Marshall and WVU compete here in March,” said Andy Shea, Dirty Birds Owner and CEO. “This historic contest is the perfect way to kick-off the baseball events in Charleston.”
This year’s rivalry game at GoMart Ballpark starts at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, March 12. It marks the first game of three between the in-state rivals. WVU will host game two in Morgantown and Marshall will host the final game at their new facility in Huntington
Tickets for the first match-up on March 12 are on sale now! Get yours here!