HUNTINGTON — The state’s two Division I baseball programs are meeting in Huntington for the first time since 1988.
Marshall and West Virginia are scheduled to play at 3 p.m. Tuesday at George T. Smailes Field, located at the YMCA Kennedy Center on Route 2.
The meeting brings a pair of coaching friends together as West Virginia’s Randy Mazey and Marshall’s Jeff Waggoner renew acquaintances.
While many sports have opted out of the annual series between the schools, the Marshall-West Virginia baseball series is one that has kept going.
“You know, we don’t play in many sports, but these guys have always played,” Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said. “I think they have a respect for each other and the way they go about things, which makes for a natural matchup each year.”
The game will be the final regular-season tuneup for both teams prior to diving into their respective conference seasons.
For Marshall (3-7), it’s a chance to get back in the win column after losing all three games in a weekend series at No. 27 Southern Illinois.
On Sunday, the Herd got stellar pitching from its bullpen but could not produce runs in a 2-0 loss that gave the Salukis the sweep.
West Virginia (8-7) comes in also looking to establish a win heading into conference play after dropping two of three over the weekend to Coastal Carolina in a tightly contested series in Morgantown.
There will be several fun matchups between former high school teammates on Tuesday.
Hurricane has the game’s most representatives with three: Austin Dearing and Tyler Cox of Marshall and WVU’s Noah Short.
Cabell Midland is represented on both sides by WVU’s Madison Jeffrey and Marshall’s Chad Heiner while St. Albans also has split allegiances with WVU’s Jake Carr and Marshall’s Ayden Hodges.
This is the first of two games between the teams this season, which comes after the teams signed a home-and-home agreement last week.
The second meeting will be a 6:30 p.m. matchup on April 14 at Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown.