Pitt baseball announced on Thursday that the 2019 Backyard Brawl between the Panthers and West Virginia will be played at PNC Park on May 14.
“We are grateful to Frank Coonelly and the Pittsburgh Pirates organization for providing our student-athletes with an unbelievable experience,” new head coach Mike Bell said in a press release. “We look forward to continuing to work together to provide our team with memories that will last a lifetime.”
Pitt and West Virginia have continued to play an annual home-and-home series despite the teams no longer being Big East conference opponents. West Virginia leads the all-time series, 83-73. The Mountaineers beat the Panthers, 12-1 in Morgantown in 2018. The game in Pittsburgh was canceled after being postponed twice due to weather.
Pitt has played five times at PNC Park, all against Duquesne before that school closed its baseball program. Pitt as a 3-2 record at PNC Park and has not played there since 2009. West Virginia played Penn State at PNC Park in each of the last two seasons, going 2-0.
“PNC Park is one of the best stadiums in the MLB,” said Pitt outfielder and Seton-LaSalle grad Nico Popa. “The views of the Pittsburgh skyline, the river and the bridges are amazing. I am proud to be from Pittsburgh and I can’t wait to face West Virginia – one of our best rivalries – in this great stadium.”
A source close to the team told PSN that Bell made playing at PNC Park one of his priorities from Day One, a change from the previous regime under Joe Jordano, who did not want to play games off campus.
The Mountaineers share their home field, Monongalia County Ballpark, with the West Virginia Black Bears, who are the short-season Class-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.