MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Freshman pitcher Aidan Major was born on May 22, 2003.
That means he was born 14 years after the West Virginia football team made its historic run to the national title game in the 1989 Fiesta Bowl versus Notre Dame.
Leading the Mountaineer football program to an 11-0 record in the regular season that year was Major Harris, aka “The Maj'”.
Leading the way for the WVU baseball team Tuesday night in a win over Pitt was Major, aka “Maj'”.
“I think it’s just short for my last name,” the pitcher said after throwing six no-hit innings in the Backyard Brawl.
He added one of his teammates called him “Maj'” in the locker room one day after he arrived on campus, and it has stuck.
Born more than a decade after Harris last played for Don Nehlen’s gridiron gang, Major doesn’t seem aware that he currently shares a nickname with one of the most well-known athletes in WVU history.
“[I] don’t know really where it came from. I would imagine probably that, probably just shortening up my last name,” he said.
The two don’t just share a nickname.
Both hail from the state of Pennsylvania. Not only that, but both were interested in playing for the Panthers before West Virginia entered the picture.
Choosing to play quarterback for WVU, instead of defensive back for Pittsburgh, worked out for Harris, who was twice part of the Heisman Trophy conversation.
Pitching for the Mountaineers, instead of the Panthers, is off to a good start for Major. The freshman hurler is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA through nine appearances, including three starts.
In fact, he has thrown a combined nine no-hit innings against Pitt this season. Major also threw 1.2 innings of no-hit ball against the Nittany Lions on April 12.
The right-hander still has a ways to go before he enters the same category as “The Maj” in WVU lore.
West Virginia baseball’s official Twitter account even tweeted Tuesday, “There’s only one Maj in Morgantown … but this kid ain’t bad!”
More performances like the one he put together this week can only move him closer to what Harris did for the Mountaineers.
Until then, they’ll share a nickname, which means plenty to Mountaineer Nation.