American Legion team captures first round win at state tourney
|The Helper American Legion team has proved that it is still one of the best legion programs in the state this season. Now to further convince legion fans of this fact, Helper has moved on to compete at the annual state tournament in Salt Lake City. Helper defeated first round opponent Layton Saturday afternoon 14-4. The win advances Helper to a second round game which was scheduled for Monday afternoon against Cyprus.|
As baseball season draws to an end, tournaments across the state continue to be held to name a champion in each respective league. The American Legion league is no different.
Currently, the Helper AL team is in the mist of competing for the legion championship in Salt Lake City. The team finished their first tourney game with a victory over Layton by the final 14-4.
The second round of action pitted Helper against Cyprus Monday evening. The team has a good chance of winning the state title this year, but the team remains focused on the tasks at hand.
The determination was apparant during the opening game Saturday. Tony McFarland stepped up to pitch for Helper and proved why he is one of the top 1A high school pitchers in the state.
McFarland, who pitched a no hitter several weeks ago for Helper once again stepped up to play big for the team.
In the state tourney game, McFarland allowed only four hits. He did however hit five batters during the same game.
As the team neared a victory in the fifth inning, Jamal Lewis took over as pitcher and worked his magic as he forced a strike out against the only hitter he pitched to. With the bases loaded, Helper forced Layton to the bench while handing them their first loss in the double elimination tournament.
Helper broke ahead of Layton early on in the ball game and never looked back. In the first inning, Helper had nine runs. These runs was a complete team effort as batters Zac Cloward, Josh Greenwood, Chandler Pearson, Jeff Fielder, Matt Jewkes, McFarland and Lewis all sent runners to home during the opening inning.
"The key to winning the state championship will be to hit well," explained coach Jeff Cisneros. This is exactly what Helper did as they opened up their tournament competition.
Despite his excellent performance in Helper's opening game, McFarland will not start as pitcher against Cyprus. In stead, Troy Grundy will step up to kick things off for Helper in their quest for a state title.
Grundy who is a dedicated pitcher has had a successful season this year for the American Legion team. Grundy is one of the most dedicated and determined ball players in the game and his intensity definitely rubs off on his teammates.
As Helper advances in the state tournament, fans watch with anticipation as they race for a state title. It is not an unrealistic goal, rather it is one which the team and its fans can taste on the tip of their tongues.