Local Sports

Morgantown players excited to play at Mon County Ballpark

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Fans at Monongalia County Ballpark will be in some for some explosive action today — both figuratively and literally.

The Morgantown Post 2 baseball team (17-2) will forego its usual venue at Mylan Park for an evening as it hosts area rival Bridgeport Post 68 in an Independence Day game sponsored by MVB Bank and the West Virginia Black Bears.

This will mark the second battle between the two teams this season — Morgantown won the first contest 12-2 back in June.

The opening pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm, with a fireworks display scheduled to follow the game. As of now, it’s the only one scheduled in the city.

“MVB is sponsoring it and the Black Bears got behind it. They both came to us and asked if we wanted to get involved and find a team to play,” Post 2 coach Tyler Barnette said. “It just kind of grew from there.

“Just to have it all part of the experience makes it even more special. It’s kind of cool these kids get to play on a stage that’s a big show in town. Hopefully, we get some people out that don’t know what to expect coming in and they leave Post 2 fans.”

The park — which is home to both a minor league club and the WVU program — seats 3,500 fans, much larger than most local ballparks that play host to Legion baseball. An annual high school showcase is also held at the stadium in the spring, and Post 2’s Gavin Cottle said he doesn’t take an opportunity to play on such a stage lightly.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not everyone gets this. It’s a cool experience to get to play where minor league and Division I players get to play,” he said. “And it’ll be really cool to hopefully put on a show for some people who don’t normally get to see us. To get that chance to get to play in front of that many people is great.”

“This is the type of event you want every kid on the team to play in. I just think that it’s a good team-building thing,” Barnette added. “It’s really cool to be playing in a ballpark this big, and we’ve sold over 2,000 tickets so far, and we’re hoping for a sell-out. All of our kids are from here and they’re going to play in a ballpark they always want to play in, and in front of the people they want to play for. It’s everything you could ask for.”

Cottle hopes the team can use the big-game atmosphere and large crowd to its advantage. Both during the game and in the long-term for the program.

“Bridgeport is one of our big rivals and I think having this big of a crowd can definitely help influence this game and give us a push to help us win,” he said.“It’s going to a bigger crowd than we’re used to, so that will be different, but hopefully we can use it to attract more people out to our games at Mylan Park.”

Tickets for the event are available at westvirginiablackbears.com or by calling 304-293-7653. Tickets will also be sold at the gate on game day. For fans unable to attend, the game will be carried on the radio by WAJR with a video livestream available at wvmetronews.com and dominionpostlive.com