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THE SHOTGUN THROWDOWN: West Virginia splits rivalry games

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.

RIVALRY GAMES

The West Virginia baseball team played back-to-back rivalry games against Marshall and Pitt this week. The Mountaineers hit three home runs as they defeated Marshall, 7-3, on Tuesday afternoon. Sophomore infielder Mikey Kluska hit the first homer to score two runs, senior outfielder Austin Davis had the second home run, and junior outfielder Victor Scott II hit the third. The Mountaineers were able to score five runs in the second inning, then added two more in the fourth and fifth innings to jump out to a 7-0 lead. WVU finished the game with eight hits and just one error. Starting pitcher Zach Bravo played for six innings and earned his second win of the season.

On Wednesday evening, the Mountaineers traveled to Pittsburgh for the Backyard Brawl. The Panthers came away with a 9-6 win. WVU had nine hits, but three errors set the team back. The Mountaineers will continue their road trip this weekend when they face #10 TCU. All three games in this weekend series will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

PRO DAY

Six West Virginia football players participated in WVU’s Pro Day on Tuesday in Morgantown. Scouts from 18 different NFL teams were in attendance. Running back Leddie Brown, kicker Evan Staley, kicker/punter, Tyler Sumpter, and safeties Sean Mahone, Scottie Young Jr., and Alonzo Addae were the Mountaineers taking part in the activities. Of those six, Brown was the only one that was invited to this year’s NFL Combine. Despite running a 4.64 in the 40-yard dash for the combine, Leddie chose not to retry the 40 at WVU’s Pro Day. He did, however, Brown bench-press 225 pounds at 18 reps. Young Jr. had 14 reps, Mahone had 13, and Addae had eight reps. Mahone had the fastest 40-yard dash time with 4.56. Addae ran a 4.58 and Young ran a 4.68. These players are hoping to continue WVU’s streak of having at least one player drafted each year, which started in 2007.

WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP

  • Fifth-year senior Taz Sherman of the West Virginia men’s basketball team will be playing in the 2022 NABC Reese’s Division I College All-Star Game tomorrow. The game will tip off at 4:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
  • West Virginia football coach Neal Brown wants his team to have a sense of urgency. He believes that making an effort within the program to build up to the season-opening Backyard Brawl in Pittsburgh will help the Mountaineers get the result that they want in that rivalry game.
  • During the first week of spring football practice, head coach Neal Brown discussed how many of West Virginia’s offensive standouts were linemen, running backs, and receivers. On defense, the a few cornerbacks and safeties caught the coach’s attention in positive ways.

AROUND THE BIG 12

  • Kansas will be representing the Big 12 Conference in the first Final Four game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The Jayhawks will be facing Villanova on Saturday at 6:09 p.m. ET on TBS.
  • Nine Big 12 football teams will be having quarterback competitions this spring, including West Virginia, and some teams have some other questions to answer too.
  • Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy received a raise last week and will now make $7.5 million per year.

AROUND THE NCAA

  • The second Final Four game in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will be a rivalry game between Duke and North Carolina, and it will tip off approximately 30 minutes after the first game ends on TBS.
  • Marshall, Old Dominion, and Southern Miss are officially leaving Conference USA to play in the Sun Belt Conference. All three teams will join the Sun Belt this fall for the 2022-23 season.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Despite the fact that he is not facing criminal charges, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson could still be disciplined by the NFL just for being accused of misconduct.

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