LEBANON, Tenn. -- Christian Brothers entered the BlueCross Spring Fling state baseball tournament here at Wilson Central High School as the defending state champion in D-II, but that didn't seem to faze the Baylor Red Raiders.
Scoring six runs in the top of the third inning and four more in the seventh, the Red Raiders advanced with a surprising 10-0 victory over the Purple Wave.
Senior John Tipton, who seems to get stronger with each passing game, earned his sixth straight win with his sixth-straight complete game with his seven-hit shutout.
While Tipton was doing his thing on the mound and the Baylor defense was playing errorless baseball, the Baylor bats came to life as well as they collected 17 hits on the day.
Junior Colton Jumper, who normally bats in the ninth slot of Baylor's lineup, was the man of the day with four hits in four at-bats, including a single and a double in that third-inning uprising. He later had another double and another single.
Five other Baylor players had two hits, including Hunter Holland, Brandon Robertson, Will Crimmins, Jackson Cooper and Tipton.
Holland had a big two-run single in that six-run inning while Tipton collected three runs batted in with his two hits.
"John Tipton did another fantastic job for us on the mound and our defense really played well," commented Baylor coach Gene Etter after his team had improved to 22-11.
"We had a big third inning when we scored six runs and then had another in the seventh as we really hit the ball well. It was one of our better all-around games of the season," the veteran coach continued.
The Baylor players were surely aware that Christian Brothers was the defending champion, but Etter didn't make a big deal of that fact.
"We didn't talk about it much. We just approached it like it was just another game, but it was a great win for us," Etter added.
Baylor now faces Battle Ground Academy on Wednesday at 12:30 (CDT). The Red Raiders took two out of three from the Wildcats in their final series of the regular season. Not only did those two wins clinch the first seed from the East/Middle Region, but it was also Etter's 800th win.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)