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ESPN enters the world of esports

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Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

Well it's finally happened, the big dog has stepped into the ring. Esports just picked up probably the most important ally any sport could ever ask for, ESPN. While they had been broadcasting buddies with several leagues of varying size and games, such as The Overwatch League, they are now going to begin hosting their own events. Beginning with Apex Legends at the ESPYs in July, the network will begin hosting invitationals and events at most of their major live events and galas. The reality of all of this is that now ESPN is moving from broadcast partner to actual organizer and event holder which means they're upping their level of commitment and involvement in terms of resources and talent and money and screen time, all of which is only going to help the sport as a whole grow.

The Houston Outlaws return to action this week as The Overwatch League comes back for Stage Three of this season. Their first game is tomorrow at about 9:30 central time on Twitch, ESPN online and the various websites and such. It's unfortunate to note overall that the ownership change still hasn't occurred and that there were no significant changes to the coaching staff or roster, as overall the team has been underperforming steadily for a little while. The desired outcome for this program is to return to the winning ways they had in Stage 1 of the first season of OWL when they were in first place and had momentum going in their favor. Since then it's been a very difficult path for this team with disappointment after disappointment stacking up. They obviously finished the first season out of the playoffs and this season they look to be quickly falling towards mathematical elimination, from that point it's hard to see what can be done in the short term to improve this team without the commitment of resources and support that the other teams all seem to be getting. Where can this team go? Overall I'd like to say the only real direction is up but that feels unlikely as both completed stages of this season have been devastatingly underwhelming in both preparation and performance. This is a team that feels like it's going to keep going in the wrong direction until a real change occurs in a leadership position.

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The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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After the big offensive showing to take the opener on Thursday, the Astros entered Friday's game at Globe Life Field against the Rangers just one win or Angels loss away from securing their spot in the playoffs. Here is how the game unfolded:

Final Score (10 innings): Rangers 5, Astros 4.

Record: 29-29, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Brett Martin (1-1, 1.98 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-3, 3.05 ERA).

Urquidy goes seven while allowing two

The Rangers would strike first in Friday's game, getting a two-out solo home run against Jose Urquidy in the bottom of the second to grab the early 1-0 lead. Urquidy did relatively well on the night, though he would allow another solo homer in the bottom of the fifth. Those were the only two runs he allowed, working in and out of some trouble throughout the game on his way to finishing seven innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 98 P.

Houston grabs their first lead late

Unlike their hot night at the plate the night prior, it took the Astros until the fifth inning to get on the board. It came after Carlos Correa hit a leadoff single, then came all the way around to score on an RBI-triple by George Springer, making it a 1-1 tie at the time.

After the Rangers went back in front 2-1 in the bottom of the inning on their second solo homer of the night, Alex Bregman would tie it up again with a solo home run of his own, making it 2-2. Houston would get their first lead of the night in the top of the eighth, with Altuve working a leadoff walk before scoring later in the inning on an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel.

Rangers get the walk-off to keep Houston waiting for playoff bid

After Urquidy, Blake Taylor would take over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth, retiring the Rangers in order for a scoreless inning to hold the one-run lead. Still 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Houston turned to their closer, Ryan Pressly. After two quick outs, he would allow a game-tying solo home run, making it 3-3 to postpone Houston's celebration at least another inning as the game headed to extras.

In the top of the tenth, Jose Altuve was placed on second as the free runner. He advanced to third on a groundout to start the inning, then scored on a sac fly by Alex Bregman, making it a 4-3 lead for Houston. Enoli Paredes would load the bases before Texas would tie the game on a sac fly in the bottom of the inning, keeping runners on second and third. Houston made the change to Brooks Raley to try and extend the game another inning, but instead, the Rangers would get the walk-off win, spoiling Houston's chance to clinch their playoff spot themselves with a win.

Up Next: The third game of this four-game set will get underway at 6:05 PM Central on Saturday. On the mound for Texas will be Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.87 ERA), and, as of now, the Astros still have Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA) listed as their starter.

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