Final Four in Houston: Astros fans, FAU may be the team to root for. Here's why.

Florida Atlantic plays in the first of 2 Final Four games at NRG Stadium on Saturday.

Friday, March 31, 2023
FAU and Astros have some championship-level ties
Florida Atlantic, a Final Four team, has ties to the Houston Astros. The club's minor-league skipper is an FAU grad. Jeremy Pena has ties to a player.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Astros' season-opening series overlaps with the 2023 NCAA Men's Final Four in Houston. However, that's not the only connection between the World Series champs and college basketball's marquee event.

Mickey Storey, manager of the Astros' Triple-A affiliate - the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, played baseball at Florida Atlantic University from 2005 to 2008.

Current FAU guard Alejando Ralat has a connection to Astros star Jeremy Peña, too. Alejandro's brother, Antonio, is former teammates with the 'Stros star shortstop from the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League.

"It's been awesome to see him as an older brother-type," Alejando Ralat said of his relationship with Peña. "He's awesome. His success has been amazing. My brother still talks to him. It's great."

For Storey, he couldn't be prouder to see his alma mater make an unlikely deep run.

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"You fill out your bracket and see your school in there," Storey said. "You push them a little further than most would. I put them in the Sweet 16, which many probably thought was a stretch. Here they are in the Final Four with a chance to win a national championship. It's unbelievable. This is a proud moment for FAU alumni."

Storey will be managing a game in El Paso on Saturday night, which is slated to start about the time FAU's Final Four game against San Diego State will be wrapping up in Houston.

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Anjelica Pack, sister of Miami star guard Nijel Pack, is a Houstonian who has called Texas home for over a decade.