TYLER -- If the Tyler Lee Red Raiders are to advance beyond the first round of the postseason, they'll be taking the long way.

Rowlett withstood a shaky defensive start to take a 6-2 win over Lee in Game 1 of their Class 5A Region II bi-district playoff series Thursday night at Mike Carter Field.

The series resumes with Game 2 at 5 p.m. Friday from Rowlett High School. A Red Raiders (15-12-1) win would force a decisive third game at 1 p.m. Saturday from Dallas Jesuit High School.

Lee, which is in the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season, will likely go with staff ace -- left-hander Daniel Bogue -- with its season on the line Friday.

Rowlett (19-12-1), which finished second in District 11-5A, scored twice in the second to take a 3-2 lead and added two runs in the fifth and one in the seventh to put the game away.

Eagles starting pitcher Caleb Keifer got the win. He allowed two unearned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and four walks in 5 1/3 innings. Michael Williams, who launched a solo homer in the fifth, got the final five outs to record the save.

Bobby Casillas led Rowlett at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a sac bunt, walk, triple, RBI and a run scored. He also made a couple of solid defensive plays at third base. Keifer also had two of the Eagles' eight hits on the night.

Garrett Hudson suffered the loss on the mound for Lee, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts and five walks in six innings. Tyler Jones and Ryan Rendon each had two hits for the Red Raiders in the losing effort.

Rowlett took a 1-0 in the top of the first when Williams' fly ball was dropped by the Lee right fielder with two outs, which allowed Aiden Abueva to score.

Lee answered in the bottom half of the inning with a pair of unearned runs.

Jones led off the with a single and his courtesy runner Stephen MacPherson moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt by Kiefer. With one out, Parker Bates walked, but was erased a force play at second. However, the second baseman's throw to first on a grounder by Chandler Hill sailed wide of the bag, allowing MacPherson to score the tying run. Rendon followed with an RBI single to left, giving the Red Raiders a 2-1 lead.

Rowlett wasted little time in going back in front. Payton Nix doubled to lead off the top of the second, and after Kiefer drew a walk, Bryce Weatherby moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt. Abueva then hit a sac fly RBI down the right-field line and Casillas singled to shallow right-center for a 3-2 Eagles lead.

The game stayed 3-2 until the fifth. Casillas tripled to lead off and scored on Tanner Sonnenberg's sac fly to center. Williams followed with a towering solo homer to right field to push the lead to 5-2. Weatherby was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh to account for the game's final run.

Rowlett 6, Tyler Lee 2

Class 5A Region II Bi-District Playoff Series -- Game 1

At Mike Carter Field, Tyler

Rowlett           120    020    1    --    6    8    2
Tyler Lee         200    000    0    --    2    6    1

Pitchers and catchers
  • Rowlett: Caleb Kiefer, Michael Williams (6) and Brian Weidinger.
  • Tyler Lee: Garrett Hudson, Jakob Romines (7), Henry Smith (7) and Tyler Jones.

 

WP -- Kiefer.
LP -- Hudson.
S -- Williams.

 

Doubles
  • Rowlett: Payton Nix.
  • Tyler Lee: Ryan Rendon, Hudson.

 

Triples
  • Rowlett: Bobby Casillas.

 

Home runs
  • Rowlett: Williams (fifth inning, solo).