Helper Legion reigns as tournament champs
The annual Helper Invitational Baseball tournament was held last weekend with the home team Helper walking away with the championship after going undefeated through the contest. They opened with Highland on Friday night with a 15-7 victory. Then took a 9-2 win over Price and ended 7-5 over Pocatello Saturday night. Finally they wrapped it up with a hard fought 5-4 win over the defending American Legion World Series winning Las Vegas Lions.
The Friday night against Highland also counted as a league game. Dakota Cisneros took the mound for five solid innings alloweing only five hits. Jordan Blanc came in and finished. Hayden Basinger and Derek Young each had three hits. Jaren McCourt, Seth Tryon and Kash Jewkes all had two hits.
"We hit pretty well all night but made some errors defensively that allowed Highland their runs. We put up 15 hits and this was a great way to start the tournament and we also picked up a league win to put us a 6-1 in the league standings," remarked coach Jeff Cisneros.
Saturday night's game against Price saw Young throw a complete game. All 17 players saw action in this game.
"It was a good game for some of our younger kids to see some time," added Coach Cisneros. "I thought Tyson Damron pitched a very solid game for Price. We ended up with 10 hits and Young only allowed 4 hits for the entire game."
Pocatello was the night cap and was a game that Helper had been looking towards for a couple of weeks. In the two Idaho tournaments the teams did not play each other, but watched the other play. Pocatello was also 2-0 and the winner would play in the championship game on Sunday.
Gage Bigelow started and he pitched very well. Helper jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the 1st The big blow came from Court and a bases loaded double. With Helper sitting on a 6-0 lead Pocatello came back with big 4th scoring five. Dylan Vogrinec came in and pitched the final /innings and Helper held on for a 7-5 win. They ended with 10 hits. Three were off the bat of Basinger and three from McCourt and included two doubles.
"I thought our pitching and defense was very solid and to have 10 hits off Pocatello's best pitcher was very impressive." commented Coach Cisneros.
The Lions easily won their side of the bracket and now Dakota Cisneros had to face them on the mound. He threw three innings and gave up one run. After three Helperwas down 1-0. Blanc came in for two solid innings giving another run.Helper scvored a pair in the 4th and 2 more in the 5th to get to 4-2.
McCourt came in close it and gave up a pair in the 6th. Tied at four in the bottom of the 7th inning Bigelow smashes an RBI single to send the winning run over.
Cisneros added, "This was great game between two very solid teams. The Las Vegas team last year won the West Regional and played in the American Legion World Series. So for us to play and even beat a team with those credentials says a lot about where our team is and what they are capable of doing."
The weekend wrapped up and with McCourt, Young and Basinger all making the all-tournament team. Bowen Lacotta was named to the all-tournament team from the Price team.
"The entire tournament was a great team effort by our team and I hope we can carry this on throughout the rest of our season," Cisneros said. "I would like to thank all our sponsors and volunteers that helped with the tournament. The crowds every night for our games was tremendous and I want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting us."