Home field advantage: Helper wins championship
The last win usually is the toughest. That's what the Helper American Legion baseball team found out in their quest to win their own tournament this weekend.
While Helper hit and pitched their way to wins in their first four games, a tournament championship nearly went up in smoke against Cyprus. With the game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Helper got the big hits they were looking for including an RBI double from Colton Greener followed by an RBI single from Bryce Blackburn to help push Helper to the championship win on Sunday afternoon.
The tournament championship was Helper's third in as many years.
Helper's run to the championship included wins over Price (9-0), Pineview (9-3), Westlake (10-0) and two games over Cyprus (14-5 and 5-3).
"I really thought we battled and played hard," said Helper head coach Jeff Cisneros of the championship game win over Cyprus. "I thought our pitching and timely hitting was just better and thus was the difference."
Helper got contributions from all areas of the game including on the mound as Jarod Lessar who pitched a no-hitter against Price on Thursday evening. The offense was led by multiple players including newcomer Jordan Mellen who picked up a number of key RBIs for the team along the way.
Helper outscored their opponents 46-11 during the tournament.
Four players from Helper made the All-Tournament team including Blackburn, Dakota Cisneros, Jordan Mellen and Derek Young.
Jaren McCourt was named the most outstanding hitter. Lessar received the defensive player award for his no-hit performance against Price.
The tournament was well attended over the four days, Jeff Cisneros said, and was highlighted with a crowd of about 500 people for Thursday evening game with Price and Helper. The tournament raised about $3,000 for the team, Cisneros added.