Helper Legion finishes season with 2-2 record at state tourney in Kearns
The Helper American Legion team finished out the season at state with two wins and two losses. Coach Jeff Cisneros said, "After beating Grantsville on Saturday we came back to take on the older Taylorsville team. Taylorsville scored 2 runs in the top of the first, but we came back in the bottom of the first and scored 4. A single by Basinger and a walk to Danny Flahie set the table for Daniel Peczuh who blasted a 3 run homerun. Tyler Bean followed with a double and Chris Coleman singled him in and we took a 4-2 lead. That lead did not last long as Taylorsville got to our starting pitcher Braden Bolotas in the bottom of the second. They scored 6 runs in the inning and took a 8-4 lead. Clint Finkbiner came in to pitch but the damage was done. Neither team scored over the next 3 innings. T-ville scored 3 more runs in the fifth inning and took a 11-4 lead. We added 2 runs in the bottom of the sixth and left bases loaded in the seventh without scoring. The final score was 11-6. Colter Moore came in to pitch also and did a very nice job. Taylorsville is a team that you just have to score with, they have great hitting as they blasted 4 homeruns against us and we just did not hit and score in the middle innings. The loss dropped us into the loser bracket which meant we had to play Box Elder Tuesday at 1 p.m.
"Tuesday's game with Box Elder started out very slow. Box Elder finished tied for second in the North league this year and we knew they were going to be a good team. The first game after being dropped into the loser bracket is always a tough one to get motivated for and I was little worried about how we would show up to play. Box Elder scored first as they scored 1 run in the first, 3 in the third and scored 2 more in the fourth. We found ourselves down 6-0 and our bats had not showed up. We had 1 hit through the first 4 innings and I was desperate to try and find some offense. I started substituting guys trying to find a spark. We did score 2 runs in the bottom of the fourth as Tyler Bean doubled and Kenny Seals singled. The score after four innings was 6-2. Haden Basinger started on the mound and was relieved in the third inning and Derek Anderson came in and took over. Derek had struggled in his last few outings but on this day he was ready to pitch. After allowing 2 runs in the fourth Derek did not allow another run and really kept us in the game. Our offense started to click and we scored 3 runs in the bottom of the sixth. A single by Bean and Chris Coleman and another double by Kenny Seals kept the comeback alive. The score after six innings was now 6-5 in favor of Box Elder. The nice thing about being home team was you always have a chance to score last and we took advantage of this opportunity on this day. A walk to Derek Anderson started the inning. Nate Martinez came in to pinch hit and missed a walk off homerun by only feet, but his double was good enough to score Anderson and tie the game. With Martinez on second and two outs Tyler Bean came to bat. Tyler had been hitting the ball good all day and his hot hitting continued as he sent a 2-2 pitch into centerfield and scored Martinez to win the game. The final score 7-6 in our favor. All 17 guys on our team played in the game and 16 of those guys got a chance to contribute on the offensive end. This was the true meaning of a team win and I was proud of the way the guys hung in there and chipped away at their lead and eventually won the game.
"The win meant we played at 5 p.m. on Wednesday against the North league champ Blacksmith. Blacksmith is a team made up of Mountain Crest players from up North. They won the North league this year and had a very good summer. The game started out from the first inning as a pitchers duel. Blacksmith's pitcher walked our first batter, but on the next pitch picked him off first base. We struggled to get any base runners against him after that. Meanwhile Josh Dennison was in full command of the Blacksmith hitters as he sat them down one by one. The first four innings saw neither team do anything as both pitchers did a great job of controlling the game. Blacksmith was the first to break through as their lead off hitter in the fifth inning hit a ball to right field that was misplayed. On the play the umpires called interference on our first baseman and awarded the Blacksmith player to go to third base. This was a bad call and a call that quickly changed the whole momentum of the game. Two pitches later they scored on a well executed squeeze bunt and the score stood at 1-0. We came in and quickly got guys on base in the top of the sixth inning. With runners on first and third and one out we hit a ball to centerfield. The centerfielder caught the ball and threw a strike to home plate and threw out our runner who was trying to score. A double play ended the inning and seemed to end our hopes of doing anything. We fell apart the next inning and Blacksmith scored 7 runs on 5 hits and 3 errors. The final score was 8-0. This was a great game and the 8-0 score does not tell the story of how well played this game was. The ump's changed the momentum of the game and we just never seemed like we recovered. Josh Dennison pitched his best game of the season, but it came with no reward as the loss meant the season was over.
"Overall our season record was 18-12 and we had our ups and downs. After struggling at the Idaho tournament early in the season we came home and regrouped and had a 9-0 record in league play at one time. We finished the league play by winning only one of our next seven league games and finished the league with a 10-6 record. Good enough for fourth place and another shot at the state tournament. I was very happy to see some of the improvement of our players over the course of the season and I'm very excited about the potential next year's team has. We only lose four players from this years squad and with the good upcoming talent I feel the next three or four years could be very exciting. I hope the boys continue to work hard and I look forward to the next season. I want to thank everyone who helped make this year a success. All the sponsors and people at the local newspapers. Without all this support summer baseball in our area would never survive," said Cisneros.
Players on the Helper Legion 2009 team included: Haden Basinger, Quinn Montgomery, Dakota Cisneros, Braden Bolotas, Kash Jewkes, Clint Finkbiner, Daniel Peczuh, Josh Denison, Danny Flahie, Derick Anderson, Nick Stoddard, Austin Davis, Nathan Martinez, Chris Coleman, Colter Moore, Tyler Bean, Beau Rich, Kenny Seals, Jeff Cisneros, Coach and Manager, Dusty Litster, Coach, Trevor Thompson, coach and Chris Hatch, coach.