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THE SHOTGUN THROWDOWN: Mountaineers face Marshall baseball team

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Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.

Jeff Ruff

Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.

IN-STATE ROAD TRIP

The West Virginia baseball team has traveled down to Huntington to face its in-state rival, Marshall, this afternoon. The Mountaineers and Thundering Herd were supposed to have their first matchup of the season last week in Morgantown, but the game was postponed. WVU is 13-8 this season, after three wins over Youngstown State at home this past weekend. The Herd is 12-11-1 and has lost four of its last five games. The Mountaineers have struggled on the road this season, but hopefully they can continue their historic dominance over Marshall. WVU has won 10 of its last 11 games against the Herd, to hold a 50-25 record in the rivalry. The Mountaineers will be starting fifth-year senior Zach Bravo at pitcher today. The right-hander is 1-0 this year, with an ERA of 6.92. The game is set to start at 3:00 p.m. ET today and will be streamed on YouTube.

OFFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT

The West Virginia football team is expecting some exciting, and much needed, improvement now that Graham Harrell is the team’s offensive coordinator. There is a noticeable enthusiasm and anticipation to see how the offense can improve with a new leader on its coaching staff. Left guard James Gmiter noticed how Harrell rejuvenated the offense when he first arrived in Morgantown. The senior offensive lineman believes that the Mountaineers will be able to score points and win games with their new coordinator, because of the knowledge and experience that he brings. Gmiter also thinks that cohesiveness among the offensive linemen will go a long way in helping the WVU offensive be successful this season.

WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP

  • Fifth-year senior Mark Goetz and sophomore Jackson Davenport both shot five-under-par for the West Virginia golf team in the second round of The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate on Monday. Those two Mountaineers are tied for 13th place heading into today’s final round in Awendaw, South Carolina.
  • West Virginia football coach Neal Brown believes that redshirt junior Lance Dixon will be even more successful in his second year with the Mountaineers. The transfer linebacker had 36 tackles last season, but his speed and stamina could help him increase his production this fall.

AROUND THE BIG 12

  • Top-seeded Kansas was the only Big 12 men’s basketball team to make the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks cruised past Miami, 76-50, on Sunday afternoon.

AROUND THE NCAA

  • Saint Peter’s had a magical run in the NCAA Tournament, but that run came to an end on Sunday with the Peacocks’ 69-49 loss to North Carolina in the Elite Eight.
  • Villanova fought off a comeback from Houston to advance to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. Senior forward Jermaine Samuels had a double-double for the Wildcats with 16 points and 10 rebounds in their close win over the Cougars.
  • Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s farewell tour will conclude in New Orleans now that the Blue Devils are in the Final Four.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Christian Pulisic scored a hat trick as the United States men’s soccer team destroyed Panama, 5-1, in Sunday’s chippy World Cup qualifying match.
  • The Boston Celtics’ incredible run has propelled them to the top of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. The Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies are battling at the top of the West.

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