ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Newly acquired Astros right-hander Jason Jennings was the 1999 Collegiate Player of the Year at nearby Baylor University, and he had a sizable crowd of fans, friends and relatives cheering him on during the Astros' split-squad matchup with their Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express, on Thursday night.
"This is as close to Waco as I've ever been in a professional game," he said. "I really felt like I was back in Texas, and that's a great thing."
Mo goes wild: Morgan Ensberg, whose 2000 breakthrough season with then-Double-A Round Rock earned him a late season promotion to the Astros, provided a bit of humorous theater for his old fans on Thursday. After a Chance Douglass inside pitch zipped by his head in the fourth inning, Ensberg dusted himself off and faked a comic charge to pitcher's mound.
"You've got to announce your presence with authority, or however that goes," he joked.
Front office relocates: The Astros' executive staff was out in full force on Thursday, as general manager Tim Purpura, assistant GMs Ricky Bennett and Dave Gottfried and assistant director of baseball operations Charlie Norton took in the game along with members of the Ryan-Sanders Round Rock ownwership group.
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Purpura, who was a frequent visitor during his days as supervisor of the Astros Minor League system, was making his first trip back in a couple of years.
"I've got a lot of great memories here, like celebrating the Texas League championship the first year, so it was great to get back," he said.
Delayed decisions: Astros manager Phil Garner emphasized that nothing to do with the configuration of the Astros' Opening Day roster was decided by the contest.
"We'll wait until the last minute," he said. "We've still got two more exhibition games in Houston to get through first. We're going to see as much as we can before we make those final decisions."
Michael Point is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.