San Antonio – They’ve won 16 straight, rank fourth in the nation and just won the Heartland Conference Tournament title.

And now, the St. Mary’s Rattlers will officially serve as host for the NCAA Division II South Central Baseball Regional, the NCAA announced Sunday evening.

Top-seeded St. Mary’s (45-8) will play No. 6 seed Incarnate Word (35-16) in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament, which will run from Thursday-Sunday at V.J. Keefe Field. Game times will be determined Monday.

Also making the six-team tournament were No. 2 Central Missouri (45-8), No. 3 Emporia State (42-10), No. 4 Southeastern Oklahoma State (34-17) and No. 5 Tarleton State (35-13).

Central Missouri will play Tarleton State in the opening round, while Emporia State and Southeastern Oklahoma State will face off as well.

St. Mary’s swept the regular-season series against Incarnate Word, winning 11-8 on the road and 5-1 at V.J. Keefe Field.

St. Mary’s, which hasn’t hosted regionals since winning the NCAA Division II national championship in 2001, earned its second straight regional appearance and fourth overall.

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