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West Virginia baseball takes on Grand Canyon in the second game of the NCAA Regional

The West Virginia University Baseball team will take on Grand Canyon University on Saturday in the second game of the Tucson NCAA regional. A win would mean a 2-0 start for Randy Mazey’s side and give themselves full control of the match.

The matchup comes after a fairly dominant performance by the Mountaineers against the two-seed Dallas Baptist Patriots. Derek Clark put in one of his best performances of the season, throwing a complete game, allowing just one run, four hits and striking out eight.

Clark said after the game, “When I woke up this morning, I knew I was going to be ready.” He was ready, as Clark became the first WVU pitcher to throw a complete game in an NCAA tournament game since 1996.

In the match after West Virginia’s one-seed and regional host, Arizona fell 9-4 to four-seed Grand Canyon. Arizona managed to take a 3-2 lead in the second inning, but the Antelopes used runs in the 6, 7, 8 and 9 inning to secure the win.

The matchup between WVU and GCU will be the first meeting of all time between the two schools on the diamond.

The projected starter for West Virginia is another left-handed pitcher, Tyler Switalski. Over the course of the season, Switalski posted a 4-2 record and an ERA of 5.94. Later in the season, however, the left-hander really found his groove, going 2-0 in his last three starts and being able to go five innings in each start.

There is currently no projected GCU starter. That information will be released closer to game time. This season, however, the Antelopes finished with a 35-23 record and went 0-2 against Big 12 opponents, both going to BYU.

The Mountaineers have reached an NCAA Regional Final a few times in their history, including the most recent in 2017, but they have yet to overcome the hurdle and win one. A win at the Grand Canyon would put West Virginia in the driver’s seat to do just that.

Should the Mountaineers pull out the win, they would head to the championship game with an extra life in their pockets. They would have the advantage of having to win one of the last two games to get the job done.

Losing wouldn’t be the end of the road for the Gold and Blue either. A loss would tie them with the winner of Arizona and Dallas Baptist. That match would be to get to the championship game, where the Mountaineers would have to win two in a row.

The first pitch against Grand Canyon is scheduled for Saturday, June 1 at 10:00 PM ET and can be viewed on ESPN+.

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