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Front Page » July 23, 2002 » Sports » Mcfarland Pitches no Hitter for Helper A.l. Team
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Mcfarland Pitches no Hitter for Helper A.l. Team

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Jamal Lewis approaches the pitchers mound knowing that he has large shoes to fill following a no hitter game pitched by teammate Tony McFarland. Lewis stepped up to the challenge and pitched the last few innings against American Fork last Friday. Lewis has lent his talent to the Helper team this season and has had a successful showing thus far.

With the final three games upon them, the Helper American Legion team stepped up to finish the regular season in style. The team started this quest off against Judge last Monday on the road. The trip turned out beneficial for Helper who returned home with yet another win under their caps.

The road game will be one to remember for Helper team member Tony McFarland who pitched a no hitter against Judge. The accomplishment boosted the team's spirits and carried them to the 12-0 victory.

Helper opened up the doors against Judge in the second inning as the team scored seven runs. Helper's rally began with a Jamal Lewis triple which sent McFarland and Kent Stilson to home plate, chalking up the first two runs of the inning.

Following Lewis, Chris Hatch, Jeff Fielder, and Matt Jewkes each sent runners to home increasing the teams lead.

The momentum was in Helper's favor and Judge could do nothing but look back at the red hot Helper team.

By the end of the ball game, Helper had dominated the field. The confidence boost that McFarland's no hitter game gave the team also allowed them to step up and hit quite well. Helper had 12 runs on 12 hits and only one error.

Helper would continue play on Friday as they visited American Fork. While there, Helper continued their winning ways as they defeated American Fork 11-5.

During this game, Helper had 11 runs, 16 hits and two errors. The teams were neck to neck entering the seventh inning with Helper leading 6-5. In this inning however, the tide would change and Helper would score five runs to jump ahead of American Fork for a win.

In three separate innings, Helper would leave the field with the bases loaded. Because the team failed to score on these opportunities, American Fork contested the team quite closely, that was until Helper stepped up to take control of the ball game in the seventh inning.

To finish the week out, Helper faced Kearns who was tied with them for second place in the league with a 13-3 record. With high stakes riding on the shoulders of both teams, the ball game was quite intense. Unfortunately for Helper, things did not fall their way as they lost to Kearns 3-1.

Troy Grundy pitched this game for Helper and allowed only three hits and had 10 strike outs, while Helper finished the game with one run, seven hits and one error.

Kearns opened up the game with two runs in the first inning, both of which were home runs. This did not discourage Helper who stepped up in the third inning and scored a run on a McFarland single.

According to Helper coach Jeff Cisneros, the team struggled at bat. Most of their hits were scattered apart, which made it impossible to score runs.

"We have came a long ways at bat. The team is hitting a lot better than they were at the beginning of the season. Our game has really came about. The defense and pitching skills have always been good, but now we are beginning to hit the ball a lot better," explained Cisneros.

This was the final game for Helper in the regular season. Highland cancelled the double header which was scheduled for Monday, thus forcing Helper into a two week long vacation leading up to the state championships which begin August 3.

It is unlikely that Helper will be able to reschedule a make up game for this week because of lack of interest on the opponents behalf. Because Helper is so far ahead of most of the league teams in the standings, most of the opponents are uninterested in competing against the successful team.

During their two week long vacation, Helper will rest up and prepare for the championships. Although rest is crucial after the long season, the team will not take this time to lightly. In fact, Helper will practice and continue to build their skills as they prepare for the championships which they will enter in either third or fourth place.

If a game is not rescheduled for this week, it looks as if Helper will finish the season with a 16-4 record. Currently it looks as if Cyprus will be the number one seed and Kearns will be ranked second going into the championship tourney. The outcome of this weeks games for Taylorsville will determine just which rank Helper will enter the double elimination tournament in.

As Helper closes the book to yet another successful season, another book will open as the championship tournament rounds the corner.

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July 23, 2002
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