Lipscomb beats rain, Jackson SouthSide and heads to state tourney

Monday, May 18, 2009 at 2:33am

Finally beating the rain, David Lipscomb surged into its second straight Class AA state baseball tournament.

The Mustangs, who were state runners-up to Goodpasture last year, rolled to an 11-1 romp over Jackson SouthSide Sunday afternoon in the Sectionals — in a game postponed for two days by rain.

"It's been a pretty stressful two days,'' said veteran Lipscomb coach Ernie Smith, whose team won the 2005 state title. "We finally were able to play some baseball.''

Lipscomb advanced into a first-round game with Dyersburg on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Smyrna High, beginning the double-elimination tournament of SpringFling baseball. Lipscomb is in the opposite bracket from rival Goodpasture, the team the Mustangs lost to in last year's final at Lipscomb University in Nashville. If both win their brackets, it would set up a rematch in the finals.

"When I asked (TSSAA executive director) Ronnie Carter the latest we could play our (Sectional) game, he told me we could play as late as Tuesday morning at 10, as long as we showed up at Smyrna at 4 o'clock,'' Smith said, laughing. "Fortunately, we didn't have to do that.''

Senior Ryan Emery fired a three-hitter for Lipscomb, striking out 10 and walking two. He had plenty of support from T.J. Hoelzer who went 3-for-3 and belted a three-run homer as Lipscomb wrapped up the contest with SouthSide via the 10-run rule in the fifth.

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