Helper starts 2013 tournament with dominant win over Logan
With high expectations as a top seed in the state tournament, the Helper American Legion baseball team wasted no time in getting off to a fast start with a 13-1 win over host Logan on Saturday evening.
Helper took an early 4-0 lead in the first inning and Brandon Oliver pitched a complete game keeping the Logan offense at bay in the five inning mercy rule win.
"As a pitcher, it's huge to get an early lead before going out to the mound," said Oliver. "I just tried to keep the ball down in the zone throughout the game."
Behind strong pitching and defense, the Helper offense added runs in every inning including a four-run top of the third inning which was highlighted by a Jaren McCourt two-run home run over the center field wall that put Helper up 7-1.
Logan loaded the bases in the bottom of the second with one out, but Oliver pitched out of the jam allowing one run to score on an RBI ground out.
Oliver seemed to get stronger as the game went on as he struck out two Logan batters in the fifth inning to collect the victory for Helper.
With the win, Helper advanced to face the winner of Weber/West on Monday afternoon at Providence High School.
Head coach Jeff Cisneros, who is finishing his 20 year tenure as head coach at the conclusion of the season, said the win was the beginning of a tough week for the team at the tournament.
"It's going to be a long week for the guys," he said. "We need to take things one game at a time and just focus on playing well in all aspects of the game."
Because the team is scheduled to play through Friday in Logan and Providence, Cisneros said donations may still be needed to help cover the costs of hotel rooms and food over the week for the team.