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Front Page » July 2, 2002 » Sports » Helper team finds itself on top of legion standings
Published 4,555 days ago

Helper team finds itself on top of legion standings


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By KAREN BASSO
Sports reporter


Matt Jewkes continued to be a dominant force in American Legion baseball. In the Bozeman tournament held this past weekend, Jewkes pitched a successful game against Blackfoot, Idaho. His efforts helped lead Helper to a 9-2 victory.

The Helper American Legion baseball team returned home Sunday after a week filled with baseball action. The team started the week off by hosting Park City on Monday, then traveled to Montana to participate in a tournament held last weekend. By the time the week ended, Helper was on top of the legion standings with a 7-2 record.

Helper fired things up June 24 against Park City. Helper dominated the field, forcing Park City home with a 12-3 loss.

Everything seemed to be falling in place for Helper as they easily defeated Park City in five innings. Because of the nine run rule, Helper forced Park City out of the ball game early.

The only struggle which Helper faced was errors. Park City only scored three runs, all of which came in the fourth inning. These runs were all made due to Helper errors.

By the end of the game, Helper had 12 runs, six hits, and four errors. Although the teams runs outnumbered their total hits, Helper continues to improve at bat.

Zac Cloward pitched the entire game and offered Helper the edge they needed to dominate Park City. The victory allowed Helper to gear up for the Montana tournament which turned out to be a successful adventure.

The tournament opened up with Helper playing the host team, Bozeman. After spending seven hours traveling to Montana, the Helper team stepped off the bus and began competition an hour after arriving at the baseball site. The travel time may have effected Helper who came out struggling.

Helper struggled to hit the ball. With only two runs, two hits, and two errors, Helper fell to Bozeman 8-2.

The following day however, Helper would bounce back to defeat Blackfoot, Idaho 9-2. In the first of two games Helper played Friday, the team showed many improvements.

Helper had nine runs, 11 hits, and one error against Blackfoot. Hitting improvements was a big accomplishment for Helper who struggled the day before at bat.

By the fifth inning, Helper had dominated the game and was ahead 5-0. Matt Jewkes had pitched up until this point. During the fifth inning however, Mike Smith stepped up to pitch and allowed the only two runs made by Blackfoot.

"Jewkes did a great job on Friday, but we wanted to allow Smith some playing time. Smith did a great job, and shows significant improvements," explained Helper coach Jeff Cisneros.

In their second game Friday, Helper faced Belgrade, Mont. In this game, Helper continued to improve their batting skills with 17 hits. The batting success lead to a 12-7 victory for Helper.

The game was cut short due to rain. By the fifth inning, Helper had proved that they were the better team and moved up the winners bracket.

The rain continued throughout the remainder of the night and into Saturday. Because of rain, games were postponed and carried over to Sunday.

The final game for Helper was against Laurel, Mont. The rain delay did not slow Helper down. In fact, the team came out strong with mostly young players competing. By the end of the game, Helper was on top 8-3, boosting their tournament record to 3-1.

Because rain stopped competition during the tournament, a final playoff was not held. Instead, the tournament winner was decided based upon teams win/loss record. Helper took home second place honors and advanced in the legion standings.

Helper will return to action July 3 as the team hosts Wasatch. They will then return to the road to travel to Granger to compete on Friday. Helper will finish the week off in Tooele at the annual American Legion all-star game which is scheduled for Saturday.


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