Helper Legion rides winning streak into playoffs
Undefeated since mid-June, the Helper American Legion boys of summer are riding a hot streak heading into the state tournament.
After sweeping their final two games at home over the weekend, Helper also secured the top seed in their half of the Utah American Legion Baseball playoff bracket.
On Friday night, Helper pounded Olympus, jumping on the rival squad 8-0 after just three innings of play. Helper added two more in the fifth for a final of 10-3. Strong pitching by starter Jordan Mellen and Dakota Cisneros held the Olympus offense in check.
"We started the game playing very good defense but we made five errors after the fourth inning and that is what allowed Olympus their runs," said Helper Head Coach Jeff Cisneros. "Our bats were hot and cold all game."
Mellen led the offensive attack with a pair of doubles and a single. Ridge Nielson and Tyler Procarione also had two singles. Helper made the most of their eight hits on the night, going to 13-1 in league action.
Saturday afternoon, the squad hosted Judge to make up a game which had been rained out Thursday evening. Helper pulled out a big 4-2 win behind strong pitching, timely hitting and tough defense.
"This was a very good game as both teams played very solid," said Cisneros. "Our bats were pretty quiet and Judge's pitcher did a good job keeping us off balance."
Judge held a 1-0 lead going into the third, before Dakota Cisneros tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom half.
The score remained knotted until the fifth when the Helper bats erupted for three big runs. Jaren McCourt led off the inning with a solo homer, before Nielson plated two more runs with a late single.
Derek Young had a good day at the plate collecting a pair of singles and a double en route to Helper's final league win. The local squad finished 14-1 in Salt Lake Valley play and is 22-2 heading into their final regular season double-header.