Mazey’s club rallies for a big Sunday win over Texas – The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Randy Mazey and his West Virginia baseball program are undefeated at PNC Park.
The Mountaineers are 4-0 all-time in the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. West Virginia has registered two wins over Penn State and a pair of victories over the Pittsburgh Panthers.
The most recent of those wins came last month in extra innings in the Backyard Brawl.
WVU will get more big-league ballpark experience later this month when it plays in the Big 12 Championship tournament at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers.
That means the Mountaineers will play in two Major League Baseball stadiums this year.
Five other MLB venues – Progressive Field (Cleveland), Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore), Nationals Park (Washington D.C.), Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati), and Citizen Bank Park (Philadelphia) – are within a five-hour drive of Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark.
Gold and Blue Nation asked Mazey if a big-league game in one of those parks is possible in the near future.
“I’ve asked some of those teams to do that. Nobody’s taken us up on the offer yet,” Mazey said Tuesday. “I don’t know that other big-league teams are as accommodating to college teams as the Pirates are to us. So, we’re very thankful that they let us play out there.”
The baseball team is not the only WVU program that has played regular season collegiate contests in a professional venue in recent years.
The WVU football program has played regular season games at the Washington Commanders’ FedEx Field, and at the Carolina Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium.
Bob Huggins and the Mountaineer men’s basketball team played at the home of the Indiana Pacers in 2020 for the Jimmy V Classic.
For Mazey and his team, not only are all five of the ballparks listed above within a manageable drive from Morgantown, but all are a short drive from a natural rival for the Mountaineers.
Theoretically, teams like Maryland and Georgetown could meet WVU at the home ballparks of either the Orioles or Nationals. Ohio State, which WVU hosted this season, could “host” the Mountaineers in Cleveland. Or the Cincinnati Bearcats could treat Mazey and company to a game in the Reds’ ballpark. Meanwhile, Penn State could meet the Mountaineers at Citizen Bank Park.
Of course, there are other teams that WVU could also play those games against, but longtime rivals of the Mountaineers are close to all of those stadiums.
“Yeah, that’d be pretty cool. You know, a lot of kids have it 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?” Mazey offered, which drew a laugh. “I don’t think that’s possible, but yeah it’s just a great experience for our kids.”
While playing an entire college baseball schedule in Major League Baseball stadiums isn’t likely, playing a game or two in a big-league ballpark during the regular season is important to Mazey.
Not only does it provide a great opportunity for him and his players, but there is a postseason element to it, as well.
“It helps prepare us for the conference tournament down there at Globe Life,” said the skipper. “That’s a big-league park. And, you know, when you play in those stadiums that have 20,000, 30,000 seats and you only have 3,000 fans, that’s something you got to get used to. As many opportunities as we can get to play in those parks, we’ll take advantage of it.”
Mazey hopes the trips to PNC Park continue.
He said the Pitt series as a whole, but especially when it includes a game at PNC Park, is good for the fans.
But before he plans another trip to PNC Park, Mazey and the Mountaineers are beginning to turn their attention to Globe Life Field.
Action in Arlington will get underway on Wednesday, May 25.
West Virginia can clinch its spot in the conference tournament this weekend.