Helper American Legion picking up wins
The Helper Legion team went on the road and returned with three wins and a pair of losses last week.
They picked up a 21-10 conference win over Kearns on Wednesday. Then they took their first two games in the Rupert Idaho Tournament with a 14-3 victory against Box Elder and a 16-8 win over Caldwell. After that, all the scoring and the bats slowed for Helper as they found themselves on the short end of a 5-3 decision against Minico and a 7-6 loss to the Utah Sox. Finally, hitting the friendly confines, Helper posted a 7-0 victory over Hillcrest on Monday night.
On Wednesday Helper started off by scoring nine runs in the 1st inning. They put up four in the 3rd and a pair in the 4th. They added none in the 5th, but six more in the 6th.
Julian Tamllos smashed two doubles and a triple. Jaren McCourt had a pair of singles and a triple. Gage Bigelow threw two innings and gave up a run, posting the win. Jordan Blanc pitched two innings and did very well, according to his coaches. Blanc is coming off an ACL injury and this is the first baseball action he has seen in over two years. Hayden Basinger came in and pitched the final two innings of the contest.
"We played well for stretches and then we played lazy for stretches," remarked coach Jeff Cisneros. "Having such a big lead early, I think, caused some let down in the middle innings and allowed Kearns to score too many runs. Overall it was a good win and it put our record at 2-1."
Next, Helper headed to Idaho to the Rupert Invitational Tournament in Burley. They opened with Box Elder. Dakota Cisneros started on the mound and pitched a complete game.
Basinger had a double and a single and Tamllos had three singles. Blanc had a great game with a single, double and a homer. McCourt had a single and two doubles with Derek Young posting two doubles in the game. Bigelow had a pair of singles and a homer as Helper blasted 15 hits total.
Later that day the squad faced Caldwell Idaho. Bigelow got the start and pitched a complete game win striking out 14 batters. McCourt kept a hot bat, as he recorded four hits including two doubles, a single and a triple. Young also had a pair of singles with Helper posting 10 hits.
"Once again we played a very solid game with only a couple of errors and we out hit Caldwell for our second win in the tournament. This was a great win for our young guys," said coach Cisneros
But the winning streak would come to an end on Friday against Minico Idaho. Basinger pitched a complete game and Jaren McCourt again led the offense, going 3-3 with two doubles and a triple. The only other extra base hit was by Clay Finkbiner who doubled and scored in the 3rd inning.
"We played a very good game but left too many runners on base and just did not hit the ball as well as we had," added Cisneros. "We finished with six hits. The loss meant we would play for 3rd and 4th on Saturday."
"This will be by far the best team from the North league this year and a team that we will definitely run into again in the state tournament," explained Coach Cisneros, discussing the Utah Sox his team faced in the final game.
Derek Young pitched five solid innings leaving with a 4-4 tie on the board.
Helper scored a run in the 6th and took a 5-4 lead into the 7th inning. Finkbiner and Bigelow combined to throw the final two innings. But the Sox managed to score two runs in the bottom of the 7th for the win. Helper managed only five hits, Basinger had two of those.
"We played very well again. Defensively we played very well all tournament long. For the Kearns game and the tournament in Idaho we only had 11 players as we had seven guys with other commitments. This put us extremely short handed, but I was very proud of the way our team played and competed," said Cisneros.
McCourt pitched a complete game in the Monday contest with Hillcrest allowing only six hits. Helper started off very slow but managed to put up a run in the first inning. They would not score again until the 5th with three runs on two hits and three walks. Helper finished with three in the sixth, Basinger accounting for two hits on the night.
"We will take the win and that puts us at 3-1 in league play. We will need to continue to get better as we face Riverton at home on Wednesday night," said Cisneros.
The game will be played in Helper but Riverton will be the home team for this game because they do not have a home field this season. Helper will head to Pocatello from Thursday through Sunday.