The Great Lakes Valley Conference league office announced last fall that for the fifth straight year it would host its postseason championship baseball tournament in May at GCS Ballpark, home of local independent league franchise, the Gateway Grizzlies, in Sauget, Ill.

Prior to this season, the GLVC Championship Tournament was a six-team, double-elimination event played to determine the league champion. This year, with the league expanding to 14 teams, the GLVC has expanded the championship tournament to now include eight teams.

The championship event will still be conducted as a four-day, double-elimination tournament, but with up to 15 games potentially needed to play the entire tournament, the GLVC realized it would need a second ballpark to host some of the games.

After considering many possible sites, the GLVC announced last month that it would use the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ new stadium, the UMSL Baseball Field, as the second site for the 2010 GLVC Championship Baseball Tournament.

It might seem an obvious choice for the GLVC to play its extra tournament games at one of its member schools, but it wasn’t that simple.

There are a number of attractive and appropriately-sized facilities in the St. Louis area the league could have chosen, including Saint Louis University’s Billiken Complex, Lindenwood University’s Lou Brock Sports Complex, or even T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon, home of another independent league team, the River City Rascals.
But the league chose the UMSL Baseball Field, which is quite a coup for the brand-new facility, which will finally open for business, this Wednesday, March 10, when the Tritons will host their first game ever at their new home against Missouri Western at 2 p.m.

The GLVC Championship Baseball Tournament will be held May 6-9, with preliminary round games at both UMSL Baseball Field and GCS Ballpark on May 6-7. The tournament semifinals and championship game though, will be at GCS Ballpark only, on May 8-9.

A preliminary schedule on the GLVC Website shows there will be three games played at both ballparks on May 6 and two more games at both ballparks on May 7. The tournament semifinals on May 8 will consist of at least two games, and could have as many as four. Then on Championship Sunday, May 9, at least one game will be played, and if necessary, as many as two would be played that final day.

It simply depends on the eight teams invited to play in the tournament and how well those teams play when they get here.

To earn an invitation to the 2010 GLVC Championship Baseball Tournament, eligible teams must finish with one of the top three records in their respective divisions (East or West) or be selected as one of two wild cards from either division. The wild cards will be the teams with the two best remaining records, regardless of which division they come from.

Last year Northern Kentucky won its second straight GLVC Championship, and third title in the last four years, after defeating Indianapolis 5-3 in the championship game. UM-St. Louis won its first and only GLVC Championship in 2003, defeating rival Quincy 8-4 in the title game.