Freshman Brock Morrison drove in three runs including the game winner in the bottom of the fifth as Stephenville kept its season alive with a 5-4 victory over Cleburne in Game 2 of a 4A Region I quarterfinal series at James T. Young Baseball Field Friday night.
The series moves to Veterans Stadium at Waco ISD Sports Complex for the decisive Game 3 at noon on Saturday.
Brock Morrison had a 2-run single in Stephenville's four-run bottom of the first. Tyler Floyd also had an RBI single in the frame and Trent Morrison scored on a passed ball.
Cleburne chipped away with two runs in the third and two in the top of the fifth, but the younger Morrison wasn't done.
Tyler Floyd doubled to the wall in right-center then moved to third on a ground out by Trent Morrison before Brock Morrison stepped up for the biggest at bat of his still very young high school career. The freshman ripped a single through the left side and Floyd came in with the winning run.
There was still drama down the stretch. Cleburne led off the seventh with a double, but an attempted sacrifice bunt on the next at bat led to a bizarre double play and the ejection of Cleburne's coach.
The bunt was popped up and Stephenville catcher Tyler Floyd juggled it over home plate before the ball fell in fair territory. Floyd gunned down the hitter at first, where Connor Washington alertly fired across the diamond to Trent Morrison. The runner was tagged out at third because he hesitated - thinking the bunt was foul - before leaving second.
Coach Ross Taylor vigorously argued the fair ball call with the home plate umpire, who ejected him. Cleburne got another runner on an infield hit before a fly ball to Witt Westbrook in center field ended the game.
Stephenville continues to receive solid, consistent started pitching, with Brian Picha's complete game his seventh straight and the team's 17th in 18 games. The only game not completed by a starter during the stretch was a playoff prep game at 3A Lorena.
Picha allowed three earned runs on six hits and a walk. He also hit a batter and struck out two.
Cash Callahan took the loss after working five innings plus a batter for Cleburne. He surrendered four earned runs on eight hits and a walk while setting down six on strikes.
Morrison, Picha and Tyler Floyd each had two hits for Stephenville and Stevan Martinez had two for Cleburne.
Follow Game 3 and Brad Keith on Twitter @etsports
4A Region I quarterfinals
Cleburne 002 020 0 4 6 0
Stephenville 400 010 X 5 9 3
L - Cash Callahan 5 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 6K
Brach Farmer 1 IP, 0R, 0H, 0BB, 0K
W - Brian Picha 7 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2K
Stevan Martinez, Nick Woodall, German Hernandez (RBI)
Max Reynolds, Cooper Walls (RBI), Hernandez, Martinez
Nick Woodall also had an RBI
Singles: Brian Picha (2), Tyler Floyd (RBI), Brock Morrison (2, 2RBI), Chase Varnado, Ben Martin