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THE SHOTGUN THROWDOWN: West Virginia men’s soccer finds a new conference, again

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

SOCCER: DEC 04 NCAA DI Men’s Soccer Championship Quarterfinals - West Virginia at Georgetown Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

NEW CONFERENCE

The West Virginia men’s soccer program was planning on joining Conference USA this fall, but conference realignment left C-USA in shambles, so the Mountaineers have found a new league. WVU will now be a member of the Sun Belt Conference. The Mountaineers will join Kentucky, South Carolina, Marshall, James Madison, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, and Georgia Southern. WVU had been a member of the Mid-American Conference for men’s soccer since 2012. This is a great move for the Mountaineers and the solid competition in the Sun Belt will help head coach Dan Stratford continue making WVU one of the top soccer programs in the country.

BLOWOUT WIN

A seven-run fourth inning helped the West Virginia baseball team blow out Marshall in Morgantown on Wednesday afternoon, 17-8. Freshman third baseman JJ Wetherholt batted in three of those runs for the Mountaineers off of four hits. Senior right fielder Austin Davis added three of WVU’s 16 hits. The Mountaineers return to action at home this weekend with a Big 12 series against Baylor. All three of these conference games will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

STEALING SECOND

Before Wednesday’s win over in-state rival Marshall, the West Virginia baseball team was second in the country in stolen bases, with 98 this season. Junior outfielder Victor Scott II contributed most of those stolen bases. He has 24 steals this season, which makes him second in the country individually. WVU stole one base in the win over the Thundering Herd, so the team now has 99 steals this year.

WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP

  • West Virginia’s new women’s basketball coach Dawn Plitzuweit appreciates the history, legacy, and national brand that WVU has in basketball.
  • Junior Ting-Pei Chang and freshman Camilla Bossi of the West Virginia tennis team made their second consecutive appearance in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s doubles rankings this week.

AROUND THE BIG 12

  • Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby is expected to step down from his position later this year.
  • The Kansas men’s basketball team mounted an incredible comeback on Monday night to win the 2022 National Championship.

AROUND THE NCAA

  • In 2020, the NCAA changed its rules to allow schools to pay each of their athletes up to $5,980 per year as a reward for academic performance, but only 22 of the 130 the FBS-level schools claim they have plans in place to do that.

ODDS AND ENDS

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