HARRIS COUNTY - HSA INSIDER

A weekly look at all things Houston sports from the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority

Matt Bullard (left) will join legendary broadcaster Bill Worrell. NBA.com

The Harris County – Houston Sports Authority Insider will take you inside Houston Sports each Friday because #WeAreHoustonSports!

How do you introduce Houston sports legends?

With the city’s legendary broadcasters, of course.

Call it a two-fer. Not only will the inaugural  Houston Sports Awards bring together a Who’s Who of the city’s greatest sports legends Feb. 8 at the Hilton Americas, but they’ll be introduced by another Who’s Who list -- The Voices of Houston.

Houston native Bill Worrell tops the list of a dozen iconic Voices involved on the night and he will be up first to kick off the show.

In his 35th year as the Rockets’ play-by-play man, Worrell has been a part of the Houston sports scene for more than five decades, dating back to the 1960s when he graduated from Lamar High School. He played baseball at the University of Houston, then spent a decade at KPRC Ch. 2 as a reporter and sports director.

Worrell will be joined by his Rockets’ broadcast teammates Clyde Drexler, another Houston native, and Matt Bullard.

Drexler, nicknamed Clyde the Glide for his high-flying effortless swoops down the lane, is another Houston legend. He graduated from Sterling High School, played for UH during the Phi Slama Jama years, became a 10-time NBA All-Star and played on the Rockets 1995 NBA Championship team. Drexler, who played a dozen seasons with Portland before coming to Houston, was also named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History along with his UH/Rockets teammate and Houston Sports Awards honoree Hakeem Olajuwon.

Bullard played on the Rockets’ 1993-94 NBA Championship team and played two stints with the Rockets – first from 1990–94, then again from 1996–200.

Texans broadcasters Marc Vandermeer and Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware will also be on hand. Vandermeer just finished his 16th season as the Texans’ play-by-play announcer, while Ware, the Dickinson native who starred at UH and is in both the Texas and College Football Halls of Fame, handles color analysis.

The Astros broadcaster team of Todd Kalas and Geoff Blum, who teamed up at the start of the 2017 season and finished off their first year covering an amazing seven-game World Series and the World Champions, are also among the Voices.

The Houston Sports Awards has drawn a longtime Astros broadcast team out of retirement. Legendary Bill Brown, who retired in 2016 after 30 seasons as the Astros’ play-by-play voice will be joined by his long-time broadcast partner Jim Deshaies. Deshaies, the former Astros lefthander, spent 16 seasons as color analyst with Brown before retiring.

Soccer player-turned-broadcaster Glenn Davis is also on the list of hosts. Davis has covered Houston soccer since the early '90s.

Former Texans defensive tackle and current Sports Radio 610 host Seth Payne will handle duties as a roving reporter during the televised broadcast, while AT&T SportsNet’s Kevin Eschenfelder will host the on-site, pre-broadcast ceremonies.

In addition, there are still a few more iconic faces to be announced who will on hand to honor awards winners.

Stay tuned.

There are still tables and tickets available for the Houston Sports Awards, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m., with a dual red and blue carpet event. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and the awards program starts at 7 p.m.

In addition, there are still Golden Tickets available. The $100 ticket enters you in the Houston Sports Awards Golden Ticket Raffle and gives you a chance to win a pair of season tickets to all Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, Houston Dynamo, Rodeo Houston & Houston Open home games/events during the 2018-19 season. In addition, the winner receives tickets for two Houston Texans home games, the 2018 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff and the 2018 Texas Bowl.

Information on all tickets, tables and the Golden Ticket are available at www.houstonsportsawards.com

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Houston drops the opener

Angels use big sixth inning to take opener from Astros

Houston's offense started hot, then went cold Monday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With a 2-1 series win under their belt to start this ten-game homestand, the Astros turned the page to a three-game set with the Angels on Monday night. Things started strong for Houston, building an early lead, but it would erode in the middle innings as the Angels would respond with a big sixth inning to take the opener.

Final Score: Angels 5, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 18-17, tied for second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Suarez (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (1-2)

Houston Builds an early lead

After a 1-2-3 top of the first by Luis Garcia, Houston would start the scoring in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks set things off, setting up an RBI ground-rule double by Alex Bregman, giving them the 1-0 lead. Kyle Tucker lead the bottom of the second off with a double, then came around to score on an RBI single by Myles Straw, then Michael Brantley made it 3-0 with an RBI double later in the inning.

Los Angeles roars back to take the lead

Los Angeles trimmed the lead to two runs in the top of the fourth with an RBI double, but Houston was able to get that run back on another RBI by Straw in the bottom of the fifth. Things fell apart for Garcia in the top of the sixth, with back-to-back one-out solo homers trimming the lead to one run and ending his night there: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 92 P.

The Angels didn't stop there, getting two more runs to take the lead off of Brandon Bielak, who managed just one out while blowing the lead. Brooks Raley would enter to get the final out of the inning, then tried to keep the deficit at one run when he returned in the top of the seventh. It looked like things might unravel for him, allowing the first two batters to reach base on a walk and single, but he would battle back to strike out the next three straight to strand both.

Angels take the opener

Joe Smith took over in the top of the eighth, still 5-4, but would get two outs while allowing a double in his three batters before Houston moved on to Kent Emanuel, who finished the inning off. After another scoreless inning for Houston's offense, Emanuel remained in the game in the top of the ninth to keep a walk-off chance alive, and he would do so by erasing a walk to send the one-run game to the bottom half. The Astros wouldn't pull off a comeback, though, dropping the opener to Los Angeles.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday night. It shapes up to be an exciting pitching matchup, with Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 3.58 ERA) for Houston going up against the two-way star Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 2.41 ERA) for Los Angeles.

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