|Wes Baletka throws out a runner at first. The Helper Legion team defeated Kearns in the final innings, 9-5.|
For those who left Tuesday's American Legion baseball game early after a three-run shot in the fourth put the Kearns Cougars up 5-0, news of the outcome came as a shock.
Helper won anyway.
Because the game was originally scheduled to be played in Kearns, Helper was in the unusual position of being the away team on its home field.
But, once the team got it bats going, it no longer mattered what the scoreboard said; Helper was the home team defending its field.
Pitcher Troy Grundy battled through Kearns' five run drive and got the win. The bats of Chris Hatch and Trevor Thompson kept the game manageable.
All three players came through with clutch hits to propel Helper back into the game.
After four quiet offensive innings, Helper added two runs in the top of the fifth to keep the game close. It was the beginning of the 9-0 scoring run the team would take to the win.
In the seventh inning, Helper broke things open. The team patiently took advantage of Kearns' errors and brought in four insurance runs to take into the bottom of the seventh.
The game ended 9-5.
Coach Jeff Cisneros said it was a good win for the team and gives the club an 11-3 season record, good enough for second place in the league. Kearns, meanwhile, retains the first place position.
The team completed its regular season yesterday in a double header against Highland. The state American Legion tournament will begin Saturday, July 31 at Oquirrh park in Kearns.