The Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic has announced its 2022 tournament field in full, which includes Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and UCLA. The three-day, six-team, nine-game tournament will be held at Minute Maid Park from March 4-6, 2022. A full tournament schedule for the 22nd annual event will be announced at a later date.
Of the six participating programs, two advanced to the 2021 College World Series, Tennessee and Texas, who played each other on Tuesday, an 8-4 Texas victory. LSU advanced to the Super Regionals, dropping the series to Tennessee. UCLA played in the Lubbock regional, which was won by Texas Tech, a 2021 College Classic participant.
Baylor is returning to the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic for the third time in the last four seasons and for the 13th time in tournament history. They last played at Minute Maid Park in 2020 and were declared the Tournament Champions with a perfect 3-0 record and wins over Arkansas, LSU and Missouri. Baylor went 31-20 this season, marking the fifth-consecutive season for Baylor to finish with a record above .500.
LSU returns next year for their fourth appearance in tournament history (2015, 2017, 2020, 2022). Their 2022 appearance will be their first at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic without Head Coach Paul Mainieri, who retired following the 2021 season. LSU went 38-25 this season and advanced all the way to the NCAA Super Regionals, losing that series to Tennessee.
Oklahoma is making its third appearance at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. They last played in the tournament in 2020 and provided the tournament highlight, a no-hitter by RHP Dane Acker, the first in tournament history and the first thrown by an Oklahoma pitcher since the 1989 season. Oklahoma went 27-28 this season.
Tennessee is making their fourth appearance at Minute Maid Park in their program’s history (also, 2005, 2008, 2012). They’ll be coming off a 50-18 season and an appearance in the College World Series, a run that ended on Tuesday with a loss to Texas. Ranked No. 3 at the end of the regular season, Tennessee finished their campaign with an SEC Eastern Division title and the fifth trip to the College World Series in program history.
The University of Texas will be returning to the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic for the 10th time in their program history. The Longhorns will return under Head Coach David Pierce, who has coached at the College Classic in 11 different seasons while at stops at Texas (2020), Sam Houston State (2014) and Rice (2003-11). Texas is one of five teams remaining in the College World Series and will play an elimination game tonight at 6 p.m. CT vs. Virginia.
The most recent addition to the field is UCLA, which will be making their second appearance at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. They last played in the tournament in 2009 with a rotation headlined by RHP Gerrit Cole and RHP Trevor Bauer. UCLA went 37-20 this season and advanced to the Regionals before being eliminated by Texas Tech.
Overall, the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic has hosted 33 programs in its 22-year history and has seen a multitude of future Major Leaguers participate, including All-Stars Alex Bregman (LSU in 2015), Max Muncy (Baylor in 2011), Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer (UCLA in 2009), David Price (Vanderbilt in 2007), Matt Carpenter (TCU in 2006) and Anthony Rendon (Rice from 2009-11). The tournament typically attracts close to 100 professional scouts from all 30 Major League teams.
The 2022 tournament marks the seventh year for it to carry the name Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic, which has been set forth by a multi-year naming rights agreement between the Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children. The Astros Foundation operates the tournament and will donate a portion of each ticket sale directly to Shriners Hospitals for Children as well as provide other fundraising and awareness opportunities.
About the Houston Astros Foundation
The Astros Foundation is the official 501(c)(3) team charity of the Houston Astros. We seek to harness the passion of our fans to support youth sports and education programs, the recognition/honor of our nation’s military, childhood cancer and domestic violence awareness and efforts to reduce homelessness. Our cornerstone initiatives include the Community Leaders program, the Astros MLB Youth Academy and the Astros RBI Program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities).
(Release via the Shriners Hospitals for Children & Houston Astros Foundation)