Head coach of No. 1 Longhorns chats with ABC13 ahead of Shriners Children's College Classic

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Due to the Major League Baseball lockout, the Astros will not play at Minute Maid Park any time soon. However, some of the best college baseball teams will take over the Astros' home field this weekend.

The 2022 Shriners Children's College Classic features a star-studded field in Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and UCLA. Per Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, four of the participating teams are ranked: Texas (#1), LSU (#3), Tennessee (#6) and UCLA (#27).

The University of Texas entered the year as the preseason No. 1 team in the country and has gone on to post a 9-0 record thus far in 2022, while outscoring their opponents 72-10. Incredibly, this marks the eighth time in Shriners Children's College Classic history that the tournament will host the preseason No. 1 team in the country.

UT's head coach, David Pierce, is no stranger to our city. He's a Houston native who coached both high school and college ball in H-town. In advance of UT's three-game weekend, ABC13's Adam Winkler chatted 1-on-1 with Coach Pierce.

"It's the greatest game on dirt, I promise you," Pierce said of the opportunity for fans to see top-notch college baseball this weekend. "We have a blast. Omaha is special, but this venue combined with a group of teams that are going to play at an elite level - you're going to be a fan when you leave."

The 2022 tournament marks the seventh year for it to carry the name Shriners Children's College Classic, which has been set forth by a multi-year naming rights agreement between the Astros Foundation and Shriners Children's. The Astros Foundation operates the tournament and will donate a portion of each ticket sale directly to Shriners Children's as well as provide other fundraising and awareness opportunities.

"When the Shriners Hospital took over it took the tournament to another level," Pierce noted. "It wasn't just about baseball - it was about giving back and helping others and putting others ahead of yourself."

The Shriners Children's College Classic begins Friday at 11:05 a.m. The schedule is below.

Friday, March 4:

  • UCLA vs. Baylor at 11:05 a.m.
  • Oklahoma vs. LSU at 3:05 p.m.
  • Tennessee vs. Texas at 7:05 p.m.

Saturday, March 5

  • Oklahoma vs. UCLA at 11:05 a.m.
  • Baylor vs. Tennessee at 3:05 p.m.
  • Texas vs. LSU at 7:05 p.m.

Sunday, March 6

  • Tennessee vs. Oklahoma at 11:05 a.m.
  • UCLA vs. Texas at 3:05 p.m.
  • LSU vs. Baylor at 7:05 p.m.

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