San Antonio – The No. 1-ranked St. Mary’s Rattlers will try to defend their Heartland Conference postseason championship at home – well, sort of – next weekend.

The Rattlers’ baseball team will host the Heartland Conference Championship Tournament across at Incarnate Word’s Sullivan Field beginning Thurs., May 10. The tournament will run through Sat., May 12, when one of four teams will be crowned the league’s champion in the double-elimination tournament.

St. Mary’s (41-8), last year’s postseason champion, enters as the top seed and the nation’s top-ranked team, while rival St. Edward’s (33-11) is the second seed. Newman (25-15) and Arkansas-Fort Smith (25-19) have also qualified for the tournament, though their seeding has yet to be determined. The Jets and Lions play a three-game series this weekend that will determine who gets the third seed.

The tournament will open up Thursday with St. Edward’s playing the third seed at 1 p.m., followed by a 5 p.m. clash between St. Mary’s and the fourth seed.

On Friday, the losers of Games 1 and 2 will play at 12 p.m. to try to stay in the tournament, while the winners of Games 1 and 2 will clash at 3:30 p.m. for the right to advance to the championship game. At 7 p.m. Friday, the Game 3 winner will take on the Game 4 loser to fill the other slot in the title game.

The championship game will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, with a second game to follow, if necessary, 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

Ticket prices for the tournament will be announced in the coming days. The entire event will be broadcast live on (Internet connectivity permitting; links are available on the Tournament Central site).

The winner of the tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA South Central Regional – a trip the two-time defending Heartland Conference champion Rattlers are eyeing for a third straight year.  

This will mark the Rattlers’ fourth home site this season, with their home field unavailable due to the ongoing construction of the new outdoor sports complex, which includes the recently named David C. Dickson Stadium that the Rattlers’ baseball team will soon call home.

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