Nov. 20, 2012
IRVING, Tex. - - Rice's Reckling Park, home of the Owls' nationally-ranked baseball program, has been selected as the site of the 2013 Conference USA Baseball Championship the league office announced from its headquarters in Irving, Tex., on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
Conference USA's automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament will be on the line at the annual C-USA Championship, now officially slated for Reckling Park on May 22-26. Reckling Park was the site of the C-USA Championship once before in 2006, the Owls' very first year as a C-USA member. Rice won the tournament playing at home that year and have gone on claim the title a total of four times in the last seven years with one runner-up finish.
"Rice is thrilled to have the C-USA Baseball Championship coming back to Reckling Park," said Rice Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan. "The City of Houston has earned a great reputation for hosting championship events and I know the great fans who follow C-USA baseball all season long are looking forward to experiencing the kind of hospitality that has become our trademark. Reckling Park deservedly ranks as one of college baseball's great venues and the return of our conference championship provides another opportunity to showcase it to the country."
The format for the C-USA Championship features the top eight teams in the final regular season standings grouped by seed into two pools of four. All teams are guaranteed to play three games with one off day. The winners of each pool advance to a one-game, Championship Final on the afternoon of May 26 (Sun.) that will be nationally-televised by CBS Sports Network.
"We are pleased to be returning to Reckling Park for our baseball championship next May," said Commissioner Britton Banowsky. "Rice has an outstanding college baseball facility and we know that our players, coaches and fans will enjoy a great week of competition."
Rice is certainly no stranger to hosting postseason baseball. In addition to the 2006 C-USA Championship, Reckling Park has served as the venue for NCAA Regionals in ten of the last 12 years. Rice baseball has also hosted NCAA Super Regionals a total of six times.
The Owls have ranked among the NCAA national leaders in home attendance every year since Reckling Park first opened in 2000. A year ago Rice averaged more than 3,000 fans for each of its 34 games in the stadium. The Owls have drawn more than 5,200 fans five different times since 2008.
Under the direction of head coach Wayne Graham, Rice baseball enjoys an .808 win percentage in games played at Reckling Park over the last dozen years. The Owls are 19-7 overall when playing in the C-USA Championship and last won the event in 2011.