WHEELING - The West Liberty and Wheeling Jesuit baseball teams have been in this situation before.
Cardinals coach Terry Edwards remembers it well.
It was during his initial year at Jesuit when his Cardinals made the trip up Route 88 to face the Hilltoppers in the final weekend doubleheader of the regular season with the last spot in the conference tournament on the line.
It was his first time coaching against his son, Justin, who was in his senior season at third base for West Liberty.
''We beat them in three of the four games,'' Coach Edwards said. ''I was proud of how we played (Jesuit was in its first year of existence), but it was an uncomfortable situation for me, obviously. It was very bitter sweet.''
With Justin now an assistant for the 'Toppers, the two will meet four times between Saturday and Sunday when the Hilltoppers play host to the Cardinals with the final berth in the inaugural Mountain East Tournament on the line. First pitch is at 1 p.m. both days.
''This is the first time in about seven years the games with Jesuit really mean something,'' Hilltoppers coach Eric Burkle said. ''Somebody is going to get in and somebody is going to sit out.''
Not only will the winner earn a tournament berth, it will also come away with the first University Diamond Series Cup, a traveling trophy which will be presented each year to the winner of the season series between the two rivals.
The Toppers (23-22 overall, 20-17 MEC) need only one victory in the weekend doubleheader to clinch the sixth seed, while Jesuit (16-24, 16-20) needs to pull off a clean sweep.
''It's a very challenging series for us,'' Edwards said. ''We have a big hill to climb.''
West Liberty's 20 conference victories are a school record and the 'Toppers need two more wins to finish with their first winning regular season since 1998.
In addition to the games, several other activities will be going to at Kovalick Field.
The Miracle League of the Ohio Valley, an all-inclusive special-needs baseball team for kids of all ages, will be on hand for Saturday's games.
Players from West Liberty and Wheeling Jesuit will be assigned a 'buddy' who will be introduced with them as part of the starting lineup.
Both the Hilltoppers and Cardinals are very active with the Miracle League.
''That's going to be awesome,'' Edwards said. ''We work with the Miracle League in the fall. A bunch of kids are coming up. It's a great experience for our kids. We're really happy and honored to do it.''
During the fall, West Liberty players would help out with games on Saturdays, while Jesuit players would be on hand on Sundays.
''Even under (former Hilltoppers coach Bo) McConnaughy, they helped out with the Miracle League,'' Burkle said. ''Our guys were doing it with the Wheeling Legion. On Saturday's our guys already know to go to the Miracle League.
''I think we get more out of it than they do. It's more beneficial to us as a team. Some of the guys really come out of their shells when they're around those kids.''
Following introductions, the Miracle Leaguers will receive a free t-shirt along with pizza and drinks while they watch the games.
In addition to the Miracle League, it'll be Senior Day for the Hilltoppers as well as Fan Appreciation Day. Seven West Liberty seniors will be honored during a ceremony and the first 2,500 fans at the game can get their picture taken with their favorite players.
''We're not the basketball team. We have to do little things to get some people to the games,'' Burkle jokingly said. ''We're anticipating the biggest crowd in baseball history.''