HE'S BACK!

Lance Zierlein returns to Houston radio with Gow Media, will reunite with John Granato on ESPN 97.5

Lance Zierlein is back on ESPN 97.5. Lance Zierlein

One of the most prominent names in Houston sports talk will return to the air on Nov. 27 when Lance Zierlein re-joins the team at Gow Media.

Zierlein will reunite with John Granato on ESPN 97.5,  on a show that will air each weekday morning from 7-9:30 a.m., reprising a legendary duo that dominated the Houston sports talk landscape for more than a decade.

“Lance has long been one of the top talents in sports.   He can both inform and entertain,” said David Gow, CEO of Gow Media.   “And to reunite John and Lance is a homerun.  For years people have asked me when those two could do a show again – now the stars have aligned.”

The Bench will air from 7-9 a.m., followed by 30 minutes with Granato and Raheel Ramzanali. Zierlein will also make appearances throughout the day on the station's other shows.

Zierlein worked for Gow Media from 2007 until 2011 and was instrumental in the launch of the company’s initial station, 1560 The Game. He and Granato were the key players in that station’s birth after working together for roughly 10 years at 610 AM. Zeirlein  most recently worked for SportsTalk 790.

He also works for NFL Network and specializes in draft coverage.

Zierlein’s addition adds to an already strong stable of radio talent at ESPN 97.5, SportsMap 94.1 and the SBNation Radio Network including Granato, Sean Salisbury, Charlie Pallilo, Barry Laminack, Joel Blank, Ramzanali, Del Olaleye, Patrick Creighton, Nate Griffin, Barry Warner and The Blitz with Fred Faour and A.J. Hoffman.

The local lineup at ESPN 97.5 will feature The Bench from 7-9 a.m., Granato and Raheel from 9-11 a.m. with Zierlein doing the first 30 minutes, Ramzanali and Olaleye hosting from 11-1 p.m., The Usual Suspects with Blank and Laminack from 1-4 p.m., and The Blitz from 4-7 p.m. Salisbury will move to the SBNation Radio Network to focus on his highly successful national show and TV show simulcast on beIN Sports.

In addition to the radio talent, the company added longtime columnist Ken Hoffman to CultureMap this year.

“Lance caps off a great year for us,” Gow said. “With Ken Hoffman, Charlie Pallilo and now Lance Zierlein joining our already-strong roster of talent, we believe we have assembled a “dream team” at Gow Media.”

Gow Media owns SportsMap, CultureMap, ESPN 97.5 FM, SportsMap 94.1 FM, the SBNation national radio network, PodcastArena, and Gow Media Audio Publishing, an audio book hosting site.


 

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After rallying in the ninth inning in Game 1 to take the pivotal opener of this best-of-three ALWC series, the Astros were in the driver's seat to try and end the series on Wednesday with another win at Target Field. Here is a quick rundown of Game 2:

Final Score: Astros 3, Twins 1.

Series: HOU Wins 2-0.

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier.

Losing Pitcher: Cody Stashak.

Houston gets the first hit and first run in the fourth

Through the first three innings, neither team could get a hit off of Jose Berrios or Jose Urquidy, though the Twins did load the bases in the bottom of the first on two walks and an error, but Urquidy would strand the runners before getting 1-2-3 innings in the second and third.

Meanwhile, the Astros lineup was retired in order in three perfect innings by Berrios. That changed in the top of the fourth when Houston would get back-to-back two-out walks to set up the first hit of the game, an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Dusty Baker makes another early call to the bullpen before Twins tie it up

Urquidy was able to keep the 1-0 lead by working around a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth, the first hit for the Twins. He returned in the fifth, allowing a leadoff single before a strikeout for the first out. Dusty Baker would pull another early hook, like Greinke the day prior, dipping into his bullpen early to end Urquidy's day at just 76 pitches in the fifth. His final line: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 76 P.

Brooks Raley was who Baker called on to face the top of the Twins' lineup. He would walk his first batter, putting runners on first and second, get a strikeout for the second out, then allow an RBI-double to Nelson Cruz that almost scored a second, go-ahead run. Instead, the runner was out at home thanks to a terrific defensive play by Carlos Correa, bulleting the ball to Maldonado at home, who made a great tag to save the run and keep it tied 1-1.

Correa homers, Astros advance to ALDS

After Raley completed the fifth inning for Urquidy, Cristian Javier was the next reliever out to begin the bottom of the sixth. He would toss a 1-2-3 frame, sending the tie game to the seventh. In the top of the seventh, Carlos Correa broke the tie with a long, loud two-out solo home run to center-field, putting the Astros back in front 2-1.

Javier held on to the one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh by working around a leadoff walk, then returned for the eighth. He would get through it scoreless, despite allowing a one-out walk to Nelson Cruz, who would be pinch-ran for by the speedy Byron Buxton. After a strikeout for out number two, Javier would catch Buxton between first and second base in a rundown, getting the big final out of the inning.

Houston added insurance in the top of the ninth, getting two on base before an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, his second of the day to make it 3-1. That left things up to closer Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance of the postseason. He would notch the save, advancing the Astros to the ALDS for their fourth-straight year.

Up Next: The Astros will now have a few days off to travel to the west coast before starting their ALDS with the winner of the A's / White Sox ALWC series. Game 1 of their ALDS will be on Monday, October 5th, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, with start time TBD.

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