Jordan Kipper spent last postseason wanting nothing more than to be in the middle of the diamond.
Doctor's orders kept him from pitching all of last season because of elbow problems.
The Mountain Pointe senior had no such restrictions Tuesday, but it is what he did in the batter's box that was most impressive as the No. 2 Pride beat No. 7 Tucson Salpointe Catholic into submission with a 17-7, 5-inning win in the second round of Pool B of the Class 5A Division I tournament.
The win advances Mountain Pointe to Saturday's Pool B third-round against No. 6 Gilbert. The game is at 4 p.m. at Camelback Ranch in Glendale. Salpointe plays Desert Ridge on Thursday at Phoenix Municipal in an elimination game.
Kipper was hardly the lone hitting star for the Pride (25-5) as they cranked out 18 hits in 45 plate appearances, including the first six batters in the first inning, but it is hard to beat a 4-for-4 game with three runs and three RBIs at Phoenix Muni.
"It's my best game in awhile, but I know I can have games like this," said Kipper, who is going to Central Arizona next season. "I felt good and it was good to put pressure on them from the first inning on."
Kipper, the second hitter, tripled in his first at-bat to drive in a run as Mountain Pointe sent 10 batters and scored five runs to plate against Salpointe ace A.J. Alexander, who came in with an 8-1 record and 3.43 ERA.
Then in the third he had a two-run double to help the Pride extend its lead after the Lancers (23-7) pulled within 5-4. Mountain Pointe again sent 10 men to plate, this time scoring six runs to lead 12-4 after three innings.
Kipper singled in the fourth then trotted home on Kevin Cron's state-record 25th home run.
The right-handed Kipper went the five innings for the win with eight strikeouts, five hits allowed, four walks and seven runs (5 earned). Other than all-state candidate Michael Hoard, who went 3-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBIs, Kipper did a job of getting his team back into the dugout to keep swinging.
"I thought he did well against a very good hitting team," Mountain Pointe coach Brandon Buck said. "He got touched up a little bit, but he threw strikes and got the outs we needed."
It's easy to throw strikes when the offensive machine that is the Mountain Pointe has your back.
Cron, Anthony Balderrama, Justin Tibbitt, Sam Kingery and Quinn Tucker had multi-hit games, while Cron (3 RBIs), Balderrama (3 RBIs), Tibbitt (2 RBIs) and Tucker (2 RBIs) joined Kipper with at least two RBIs.