Helper American Legion baseball team tested on offense and defense at Idaho tournament
After opening the season winning three of their first four games, the Helper American Legion baseball team went up to Pocatello, Idaho for a tournament over the weekend.
After playing five games over the course of three days, the Helper team walked away with five losses, all of them coming in close down to the wire contests.
Helper head coach Jeff Cisneros said the team played "ok, but not great."
"We went 0-5 at the tournament, but our record is not a reflection of what we did while we were there," he said."
He credited the tournament with providing his team with plenty of playing time for everyone on the roster to assess what needs to be worked on in practice over the course of the season.
Helper lost every game by three runs or less, including a pair of one-run losses to Kuna, Idaho and Minico, Idaho.
Here are some highlights of the games during the Idaho tournament:
Helper vs. Kuna, Idaho, Thursday June 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Helper 3 5 2
Kuna 4 4 2
Wp-Hendrix, LP- Young. 2b-Packman(K), Hernandez(K), Tryon(H). 3b-McCourt(H).
Helper's Derek Young pitched a good game but the offense could not get hits with runners in scoring position, Cisneros said. Seth Tryon finished with two hits including a double and single and Jaren McCourt had a triple.
Cisneros said the team was not scheduled to play in this game but did so because one of the other teams did not show up to play.
Helper vs. Pocatello, Idaho Thursday, June 14 at 8:30 p.m.
0 2 2
3 7 0
Wp-Teter, LP- Cisneros. 2b-Palmer(P). 3b-Young(H).
Helper's Dakota Cisneros pitched a great game and only allowed one run and three hits. Tyson Roper also pitched very well and gave up two runs. Cisneros said Pocatello is a very good team and were able to walk away the champions of the tournament. "I knew this would be the best team we would face and I thought we played very well but we just did not hit," he said. The team had two hits for the game and the two errors did allow Pocatello to score two runs. McCourt had a single and Young had a triple.
Helper vs. Jerome, Idaho Friday, June 15 at 10 a.m.
Helper 5 6 3
Jerome 8 3 1
Wp-Bragg, Lp-Lessar. 2b-Thibult(J).
Jared Lessar pitched five solid innings but the pitching staff did not allow a hit until the 6th inning. Some costly errors and few too many walks allowed Jerome to score without hitting the ball. "This was a frustrating game as we out hit and out played Jerome but still lost," he said. Again not hitting with guys in scoring position cost us the team alot of runs as Helper stranded 10 base runners.
Helper vs. Minico, Idaho, Friday, June 15 at 12:30 p.m.
Helper 9 11 1
Minico 10 6 2
Wp-Chandler, Lp-Oliver. 2b-Nielson(H), Redder(M). 3b-Roper(H).
Hunter Huntington started on the mound and had a rough start and he was unable to throw strikes. This resulted in Minco scoring three runs on no hits and jumping out to an early lead. They added four more in the second on more walks and one hit. Ridge Neilson came in and pitched four solid innings and Brandon Oliver and Dakota Cisneros finished the pitching duties. The game started out rough and the strike zone by the home plate umpire was very inconsistent.
Cisneros said the coaching staff was ejected in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes, He thought the team really stepped up and played well after the ejections.
Helper was behind 7-1 at the time and battled back to take a 9-8 lead in the sixth inning. But Minico scored two runs on Brandon Oliver en route to the win. Roper had a single and a triple and McCourt had two singles. Cisneros said that was the first time in 18 seasons that he has ever been ejected from a game but the frustration of getting down early and the umps strike zone brought him to a point that he said he needed a way to fire the team up.
Helper vs. Minico, Idaho, Saturday, June 16 at 10 a.m.
Helper 1 4 1
Minico 3 2 1
Wp-Winmill, LP- Huntington. 3b-Procarione(H).
Cisneros said the team played Minico for the second time after having to fill a spot for a team that did not show up to play in the tournament.
Again a slow start and too many walks allowed Minico to score three runs in the first inning on four walks and not hits. Wyatt Hansen came in and pitched six great innings and held Minico to no runs and two hits.