West Virginia walks off the field following a win over Kansas on March 27, 2021 at the Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown, W.Va.

West Virginia walks off the field following a win over Kansas on March 27, 2021 at the Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown, W.Va.

On Tuesday, the Backyard Brawl will be played starting at 3 p.m. in Pittsburgh. Both Pittsburgh and West Virginia are just over 20 games into the season and so far the difference between the two is small. 

WVU holds an 11-11 record with a 3-3 conference record while the Panthers have a 13-10 record and a 9-9 conference record. West Virginia is coming off of a three-game series with Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers won the first game of the series, 4-3, but dropped both games two and three to end the series. 

Pitt lost two of its three games versus Notre Dame in a series that started Saturday and went through Monday. 

The Panthers average just over five runs per game with nearly nine hits per game. The team is led by Nico Popa who is batting .337 with team-highs in runs (20) and hits (32). Ron Washington Jr. is the team’s next best batter with a .319 batting average, 29 hits and 15 runs. 

Pittsburgh batters strike out at a rate of 11.5 times per game while the West Virginia pitching staff averages 10.6 strikeouts per game. 

The Mountaineers average 8.5 hits and six runs per game with Mikey Kluska and Vince Ippoliti leading the way. Kluska has 29 hits and 15 runs on the season to go with a .337 batting average while Ippoliti is batting at .300 with 18 hits and 11 runs. 

Pitt has just one win in its last six games while West Virginia has three wins in its last six. Pittsburgh’s only win over that time was a, 3-2, win over Notre Dame on Sunday. 

Following the single game between the two, both teams will return to conference play on April 9. WVU will play Baylor and Pitt will play Miami. 

The two teams have played each other 22 times in the past with WVU holding the series lead at 12-10. The Mountaineers have won the last six matchups with the most recent being a 9-4 West Virginia win in May of 2019. 

Tuesday’s game is set to start at 3 p.m. from Charles L. Cost Field in Pittsburgh. The game will be televised on the ACC Network.

Asst. Sports Editor

Born in Cleveland, Ohio and attending WVU, I study sports journalism. I worked with U92 sports talk radio, the WVU football team video crew. I currently write for DA sports along with co-hosting the DA sports podcast.