Price American Legion goes 1-4 in Helper tournament
For the Price American Legion team it was another learning experience playing in the Helper tournament. They are a team with only one high school prep player on the roster. So for many of the boys playing it was a great experience.
They, however, lost three of four, but that was one more win than last year's run through the tournament.
The 17 to eight loss against Desert Hills was frustrating, but they played CEU on Friday to earn another 13 to four defeat. Vernal gave them their all, but Price edged them out nine to eight for their first and only tournament win. They finally dropped their last game nine to one against Hunter/Cyprus.
Opening the tournament on Thursday night against Desert Hills, Price actually led the game well into the sixth. With an eight to three edge, rain lightly falling and two outs, the wheels came off. Levi Graff had come in for Johnathan Garcia on the mound, and the lights were on, but the team struggled to get the final out. In the final innings, Desert Hills sent 14 runs across.
Coach Willie Ellington was a bit frustrated, "It was a game we should have won, but we made a lot of errors and I think it was because our kids aren't used to playing under the lights. We played real pretty for five innings, but because we haven't played under the lights, we were at a real disadvantage."
Mid-morning on Friday had the Price boys facing players from CEU. CEU filled in when another team that wasn't able to get to the tournament and Price held their own for the first part of the game, but struggled at the plate. Nico Valasquez took the mound for Price, but Tyson Dameron closed it out.
Even with two big losses under their belts, Price knew that their Saturday game against Vernal was one they couldn't afford to lose. Vernal will face Price in their end of season tournament with a possible chance to play in the legion state tournament on the line. It was a duel for both teams. Garcia took the mound and gave up seven runs. Graff came in to close it down and held Vernal to a single score. Dameron pounded a hit over the fence for his first legion homer and the home town boys got the win.
Finishing up the tournament on Sunday, Price took on Hunter. Valasquez started on the mound. Hunter showed some good offense and sent nine over before he was finished.
"I am really happy we got a win in this. It is one more than last year. If we had held on to win that first game of the tournament, who knows. But we need a little more experience under the lights. Johnathan Garcia and Tyson Dameron were named to the Helper all-tournament team. They hit consistently throughout the whole tournament," commented Ellington on Monday.
Price takes on Roosevelt at the CEU field for a double header on Wednesday, July 1.
The first game starts at 3:00 with the second game to follow right after.