CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It seemed like the entire city of Charleston was in attendance for the in-state matchup of Marshall and West Virginia University at GoMart Ballpark Wednesday night.
College baseball fans, and baseball fans in general, packed out the ballpark in what turned out to be a back-and-forth, high scoring contest, with WVU coming out victorious 15-9. West Virginia also won the first game against Marshall this year in Morgantown, 9-7.
Marshall may of been the designated home team and had the shorter trip, but GoMart seemed to be filled up with more old gold and blue than green and white. Regardless, each university had their fans show out and stick around till the end.
Most fans hailed from the capital city, including two sisters, who are diehard Mountaineer fans. Mary and Julie Morton said they’ve lived in Charleston for most of their lives, and will always cheer on WVU, especially when they’re in town.
“I think it’s great when WVU plays in Charleston,” Julia Morton said. “And most of these fans here are from Charleston and West Virginia fans.”
The Mountaineer faithful have a lot to cheer about regarding their baseball team. WVU is currently ranked 24 in the nation, and, they’ve now taken two games from the Herd this year.
The night couldn’t of been much better for the Morton’s.
“It’s a perfect evening, perfect weather, perfect everything for Easter week,” said Mary Morton. “It’s perfect that they came here, and they’re doing great.”
The two added they’ve been to plenty of football games to see the Mountaineers play in Morgantown, but don’t often see the baseball team. Good for them they were treated to a win in their home city.
It’s a .500 season through 26 games so far this year for Marshall, who had plenty of green and white show up following the quick trip down the road in Huntington.
Many of their fans said they can’t wait for their new baseball stadium to open up, which is currently under construction. But, in the meantime, they don’t mind playing a handful of games in Charleston on the turf field at GoMart Ballpark.
“It’s real nice for us because we don’t live too far from either city,” one Marshall fan said. “And this ballpark is phenomenal. It really is quite the scene with all these fans here.”
Some Herd fans were appreciative of the convenience Charleston is for them to come and watch Marshall play. Others made note of how excited they are for their own ballpark on campus after seeing the high-quality turf stadium features that GoMart has to offer.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Hunter Mallett, a Charleston native as well. “I’ve never seen this place this packed, I think it’s killer for the whole town.”
Mallett wasn’t rooting for anyone in particular, but just wanted to spend his free time enjoying a local game under the lights.
“I actually just got off work and needed something to do,” Mallett said. “I’m rooting on both teams, I got friends from both schools.”
The announced attendance at the game was 5,047, just a few hundred shy of the attendance mark of 5,354 set back in April of 2005, the first game at formerly named Appalachian Power Park.
Some notable fans in attendance for the game Wednesday included West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and Marshall President Brad Smith.
For West Virginia baseball and their fans, it’s a one-and-done trip to Charleston. The top-25 ranked Mountaineers are in action again Friday to start a three-game series with Big-12 opponent Kansas.
Marshall will set up shop in Charleston for the duration of the week and begin a three-game series as well with Louisiana at GoMart Ballpark. First game against the Ragin’ Cajuns is Thursday at 6 p.m.