HOUSTON, TX - Tickets for the sixth annual Houston Winter Invitational, which will be held at Minute Maid Park from Feb. 2-4, are available for purchase online now. The tournament will feature six NCAA Division II universities, squaring off in nine games across the three days. Tickets can be purchased at Astros.com/Invitational.
The tournament field will feature three teams from Texas, in St. Mary’s University (San Antonio), Tarleton State (Stephenville) and Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The Houston Winter Invitational also features the University of Central Missouri, which co-hosts the tournament with the Astros, Henderson State and the Colorado School of Mines.
Central Missouri, which has co-hosted the tournament since its inception, is the alma-mater of Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane, who was a standout baseball player in his college career. He played for the Mules from 1973-76, posting a 21-8 record with a career 2.42 ERA. Crane still ranks atop the Central Missouri career leaderboards in complete games (23) and shutouts (7) and ranks third in strikeouts (215). He still holds the Mules single-game strikeout record of 18, which is also a DII College World Series record. Crane was inducted into the University of Central Missouri Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997, and earned an induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame last year.
Crane contributes to Central Missouri annually to provide athletic scholarships for Mules baseball. Additionally, Crane was the primary underwriter of a $1.2 million renovation in 1998 of the old Mules Field on the University of Central Missouri campus, which has since been renamed the James R. Crane Stadium. In 2016, Crane and the UCM Foundation upgraded the university’s baseball facility with a new synthetic turf playing surface in a continuing effort to make the Central Missouri baseball program one of the best in the country.
The tournament is open to the media, which can apply for credentials by submitting a request to Steve Grande at email@example.com. For more information on the tournament or to purchase tickets, please visit Astros.com/Invitational.