H-Town Reppin'

College World Series loaded with Houston-area baseball stars

Elijah MacName is reppin' Cy Ranch at Mississippi State Vype

The NCAA College World Series is where legends are made.

This year is no different with so many opportunities to make a life-long memories in Omaha, Nebraska, where players can become legends for their respective schools.

Several Houston-area alums are on the biggest stage in college baseball with their eye on the prize of a national championship.

Cypress Ranch is home to a pair of college stars in Elijah MacNamee of Mississippi State and Masen Hibbeler of the University of Texas. MacNamee has already had a "Field of Dreams" moment in the Super Regional against Florida State. The outfielder hit a game-winning bomb to extend the series with the No. 1 Seminoles, which eventually led to a World Series appearance. Hibbeler is the starting infielder for the Longhorns and has been a cornerstone in their lineup.

Texas is also a landing spot for Strake Jesuit’s Zach Zubia and Memorial’s Cody Clemens. Both are big hitters in the Longhorn lineup and both have unique paths. Clemens is the son of MLB legend Roger Clemens, while Zubia was a dual-sport star for the Crusaders and originally signed with Tulane. He led Jesuit to their best showing in Class 6A playoff history.

Hailing from Arkansas is shortstop Jax Biggers, formerly of Ridge Point, while Texas Tech has a pair of arms in Dylan Dusek of Kempner and Ryan Shetter of Friendswood. The Red Raiders are the anchors of the pitching staff. Zach Rheams of Brazoswood has been a mainstay in Texas Tech’s lineup all season.

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The Texans didn't have an answer for Derrick Henry. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Romeo Crennel made a valorous call that might have costed the Houston Texans from winning their second consecutive game on Sunday. Up by seven with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, Crennel decided to call a two-point conversion following Deshaun Watson's one-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

During the two-point conversion, Watson had a look at an open Randall Cobb, but Titans' defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons got a hand on the ball to deflect the pass. The failed conversion allowed the Titans to take a 42-36 victory over the Texans inside Nissan Stadium. Tennessee scored 13 unanswered points, which included a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to A.J. Brown to send the game into overtime.

"I think I would do it again," Crennel said during his media availability on Monday. "You are on the road against a divisional opponent who is undefeated, and if you could get that two-point conversion — you shut the door on them. We had a guy open, but unfortunately, the ball got tipped and we did not make it. I would do it again because it was a good choice."

The decision to not kick the field goal caused somewhat of an uproar, but it is understandable why Crennel made the call. Crennel had faith in Watson to put the Texans in a position to close the game, similar to his 4th-and-4 call during last week's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the end, Crennel's risky decisions could stem from the lack of faith he has in the Texans' depleted defense.

Houston's defense hit an all-time low against the Titans. They gave up a franchise-worst 601 total yards — with Derrick Henry accounting for 212 yards on 22 carries. But despite their struggles against the run, the Texans' secondary were just as faulty. They gave up a total of 338 yards through the air and allowed Tannehill to go 8-for-9 down the field during the Titans' final drive of regulation.

Had Houston's defense made a stop during the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, the Texans could have ended the game 2-0 under their interim head coach.

"I wanted to go ahead and get the two points — I felt like that would have put the game out of reach for them," Crennel said. "If we had gotten it, we would have been in much better shape. But we did not get it. We did not perform well in overtime, and they [Titans] won the game."

Following Sunday's heartbreaking loss, Texans safety Justin Reid said it best, "Had we converted on the two-point conversion, this would be a totally different conversation. So it is what it is."

Up next, the 1-5 Texans will look to bounce back from defeat against the 4-1 Green Bay Packers, inside NRG Stadium on Sunday. Kick-off is at 12:00 PM CT.

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