As the end of the season quickly approaches, the Helper American Legion team finds itself ahead of the competition. Currently, the team holds the second place slot in the legion standings. Although the team fell from first to second this past week, the team feels confident that they can bounce back to grace the top spot in the standings once again.
The week started off for Helper with an important road game. The match up between Taylorsville and Helper would be a battle for the top spot in the legion standings. Both teams had a 9-2 record entering the highly competitive game.
The first inning started out with three runs by Taylorsville. Helper started off on a rocky road by committing several errors in this inning, however the team would bounce back in the second inning.
In this inning, Zac Cloward opened up with a single, followed by a Landon Watson single and a Chandler Pearson single. With bases loaded, Josh Greenwood stepped up to bat and singled, leading to a Cloward run. Helper was now in control of the ball game and stepped up defensively to shut down Taylorsville.
By the fifth inning, Helper found themselves down 4-1. In this inning however, Helper would score three runs, forcing themselves ahead 4-3.
Taylorsville loaded the bases in the seventh inning, but Helper held on strong and sent the home team back to the bench without a single run in the inning. By the end of the game, Helper had prevailed with a 4-3 legion win.
Helper would return home on Wednesday to compete in a double header against Olympus. The first game of the night would prove to be a disappointing one for the home team. After struggling at bat, Helper found themselves on the losing end of the scoreboard by the final 7-1.
Helper had only four hits in the entire game. Although the team struggled to hit, they did play defense quite well. "They had a hard time focusing during the first game," explained Helper coach Jeff Cisneros. "They just came out playing flat and had a difficult time hitting, but the defensive play was not bad."
The game handed Helper a legion loss and forced their first place standing to a second place seeding.
The team was determined not to allow Olympus to defeat them twice in the same night on their home field, therefore Helper came out stronger in the second game.
"This game gave me the chance to play a lot of the younger players. They really stepped up and gave us their best effort," explained Cisneros.
In the first inning, Helper jumped ahead of Olympus with three runs. The inning began with a Watson single. Matt Jewkes would then walk to first followed by a Lewis walk. With bases loaded, Tony McFarland hit a triple, leading to Helpers three runs.
Watson stepped up in the fourth inning with a home run which scored two runs for Helper. It seemed as if the loss in the previous game had rallied Helper up to bounce back and defeat Olympus in the second game. This is exactly what the team did with a 8-3 win over the visiting team.
Helper bounced back from the hitting dilemma which they faced in the first game by finishing with eight hits.
"It was important for the team to come out and play strong in the second game. We didn't want a visiting team to walk onto our home field and dish us out two losses. The final games was played for pride and everyone played well," stated Cisneros.
Helper finished the week off with a 10-3 legion record and is now one game behind first place Cyprus. With three games scheduled this week, Helper has a good chance of regaining control of the first place slot by the end of the week.
The team traveled north on Monday to compete against Judge. Helper was scheduled to play at home on Wednesday against Viewmont, however the visiting team cancelled. There will be no game on Wednesday for Helper who is now faced with rescheduling a league game in order to complete legion requirements for games played in a season. Cisneros hopes to schedule a game for next week which will be held in Helper, but currently plans have not been confirmed.
Helper will complete the week on the road as they travel to American Fork on Friday and finish the week off in Kearns on Saturday. The team will continue to push their way through the competition and will return home Monday to play in a double header against Highland.