WBBA Helper All-stars Begin Tourney on Rocky Road
|Two Helper all-star players participate in the International Days parade before traveling to Salt Lake to participate in the little world series of WBBA. The team has competed in its first two games of the tournament. The team has lost both games, but they are not about to give up. Helper will resume play Thursday afternoon.|
The Helper WBBA all-star team earned their chance to compete for the little world series of WBBA state title in Salt Lake by capturing their region championship last month. The series began Tuesday with Helper facing the Salt Lake Avenues team in the first round. The Avenues team managed to hand Helper their first loss of the tournament by the final 11-7.
Helper began the second inning in control of the game. The team scored four runs on four hits and three walks. Entering the bottom of the second, Helper was ahead of Salt Lake 4-2.
The bottom of the second inning was disasterous for Helper however as the team struggled defensively. Several errors were committed during this inning as well as wild pitches and walking runners to base. Salt Lake was able to overcome a Helper 4-2 lead to take control of the ball game. In fact, Salt Lake posted seven runs in the second inning to advance themselves ahead of Helper 9-4.
Helper did rally in the fifth inning by scoring three runs all on singles. Anthony Kelley and Andrew Jackson each had a single to allow runners to reach home during the fifth.
By the end of the ball game, the efforts of Helper were not enough to capture a first round victory. Despite the 11-7 loss, Helper had a good showing by all the athletes.
Kamren Nielson started the ball game on the mound and was followed by Brandon Dadgari. Helper had eight hits during the game, yet the team left 10 base runners stranded.
Dylan Olson had three straight runs in the first round game to aid Helper in their race for a state title.
The second round of competition was held Wednesday afternoon. Helper faced Morgan in a game which came down to the wire.
Entering the fifth inning, Helper was trailing Morgan 5-2. During this inning Helper came back from the three point deficit by scoring three runs to tie the ball game.
James McKendrick started the inning with a walk to first followed by Olson who hit a double. Kelley, Nelvin Coho and Lance Deeter each had a single in the inning to aid in the Helper rally.
Despite the strong performance by these hitters, Morgan played a strong defensive game as they robbed several Helper batters of base hits.
Morgan came back to take the victory away from Helper by the final 6-5. During the game Helper had five hits while Morgan also had five hits off three Helper pitchers; Olsen, Nielsen and Kelley.
Although Helper has lost the first two games of the tournament, they are still in the race for the state title. The team will resume play Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. as they take on the WBBA team from Rigby, Ida.
Thursday will be the final day of competition before the championship rounds begin on Friday.
The 12 team tourney allows each team to compete in three games. The teams are divided up into pools and each pool will compete amongst itself. By the end of the first three days, a championship bracket will be decided.
Each team that competes in the little world series will be able to compete through Saturday with a consolation bracket scheduled for Friday. The scheduling for this bracket will not be known until the outcome of Thursday's games are complete.
Despite losing its first two games, Helper does not give up hope on a championship title. The opportunity to compete in the tournament is a milestone in the young careers of each athlete who competes for the Helper team.
After the tournament is completed, win or lose, Helper will return to Carbon County with their heads held high and residents will welcome them back with open arms.
Helper will compete the next several days at the Herman Franks Field which is located at 1300 South 700 East in Salt Lake City, across the street from Liberty Park. Carbon County residents are welcome to attend.