Helper captures big win over Orem, advance to state
|Tyler Nelson awaits a fast throw from a Helper team mate to send Orem to the dugout. The American Legion season wrapped up in Helper July 18 as Helper hosted Orem. Both teams were faced with the important task of capturing the victory in order to advance to the state finals. Helper handed Orem the 10-3 loss and will have a week's rest before competing in the annual state tournament.|
After an up and down season, the Helper American Legion team found themselves in a do-or-die position last Friday. Helper hosted the final game of the regular legion season as Orem came to Carbon County. With identical records, each team was fighting for the victory which would mean that the winner would earn a seed in the state tournament.
The pressure was intense and both teams came out with their game faces on. Although the loser would still have a chance at making it to the finals, the win would ensure a seed and two week long rest. After two months of non-stop action, the rest became quite valuable.
Helper came out strong and quickly scored a run in the first inning. The confidence level slowly began to rise for the home team who realized that they had it in them to send Orem packing.
By the bottom of the fourth inning, Helper had built on their strengths and scored five runs, forcing Orem to scramble for a comeback.
Entering the bottom of the sixth, Helper held on to the lead by the score, 6-3. This is when the home team turned up the pressure and scored three more runs.
Orem was unable to come back and Helper captured the important win. Now, the legion team will move on to compete in the state tournament which will get under way August 2 in Ogden.
Assisting in the important season victory was Tyler Nelson and Mike Smith who each had home runs against Orem.
Helper also had a slew of players who had doubles against the Utah County team including Nelson, Chandler Pearson, Chris Hatch and Frankie Iriart.
During the layoff, Helper will continue to practice and stay in form as they prepare for the state finals. Hitting and errors have plagued the team this season, and these are mistakes that Helper co-coach, Jeff Cisneros is determined to eliminate by the time the tourney rolls around.
After a second place finish last year at state, Helper is one of the top squads at this season's tourney. All year teams have been gunning for the local ball club and the finals should be no different.
"We have a rich history in American Legion baseball. It seems as if every team has us in their sights, but we can't let this bother us. Instead, we need to live up to our reputation and this should come quite easy with this group of players," Cisneros explained earlier this season.