Thundering Herd, Mountaineers to meet in Charleston for non-conference showdown

Marshall University Athletics is offering a bus ride headed to Appalachian Power Park in Charleston Tuesday to watch the baseball game between Marshall and West Virginia University. The bus ride is free for all Marshall students. Students must pick up their ticket for the game and a bus pass at the Henderson Center ticket office prior to the bus ride until seats run out.

“It was definitely a success last year,” sophomore Cody Goins said, a student who went last year. “It was a great atmosphere for the game and during the bus ride. I hope to be able to go again this year.”

The bus will load at the Joan C. Edwards Football Stadium’s west parking lot at 4:30 p.m. and will depart at 4:45 for the 6 p.m. game. The bus will return to Huntington after the game and provides water, soft drinks and a pre-game snack for students. This is the third year for the bus trip to Charleston for the game and Marshall Athletics has made it a yearly tradition.

“We’re probably only a handful of students away from having a full passenger bus that seats 57,” Aaron Goebbel, associate director of Athletics for External Affairs, said Monday. “Charleston is a great place and a great ballpark for us, but it can be a bit of a challenge sometimes for fans and students to get there. In good faith moment and to show our students how much we support them for supporting us, this is a good opportunity for us to get students to the game safely and we look forward to it every year.”

Marshall baseball (18-17, 7-8 Conference USA) is coming off of a series loss in Boca Raton, Florida to Florida Atlantic University. The Herd dropped the first two games of the series, but won the third and final game of the series 7-0. Junior Jacob Niggemeyer pitched a complete game shutout in the win for the Herd. He was the first Marshall pitcher to pitch a complete game shutout since Grant Harper did so in 2004.

West Virginia (21-13, 8-4 Big 12) is coming off a series victory against nationally ranked No. 3 Texas Christian University in Morgantown. WVU took two out of three games, including a walk off win Sunday afternoon to defeat the Horned Frogs 5-4. The Mountaineers are now ranked nationally No. 21 after their strong weekend.

The Herd looks to defeat the Mountaineers for the first time since April 28, 2015. The Herd won 3-2 in that game at Appalachian Power Park. Last year, Marshall lost two heartbreakers to West Virginia, including a 5-4 loss in 10 innings in Charleston. Earlier this month in Morgantown, the Mountaineers defeated the Herd 14-7.

Following Tuesday’s game, the Herd travels Wednesday to face Ohio University in Mason, Ohio. This weekend ahead, Marshall will play Florida International University for a three-game set beginning Friday at 6 p.m. in Beckley.

Tickets and bus passes are only available while spots last. Goebbel said Monday afternoon that he expected the bus to fill up.

“It’s a great event,” Goebbel said. “Whenever we get to play the Mountaineers, fans and students get excited, especially in baseball after the recent success both teams have had.”

Patrick O’Leary can be contacted at [email protected]