|Joe Via stretches to catch a ball during a June 10 game against Pocatello. Helper defeated the Rebels 9-6.|
The 2006 American Legion baseball season is finally off and running. The first scheduled game against Judge needed to be rescheduled because several members of the Judge team were still taking finals.
On Friday night, Helper was scheduled to play a double header against Taylorsville at 6 p.m. and follow up with a night cap against Pocatello, Idaho at 8 p.m.
Torrential rain, sleet and wind caused the Friday night games to be canceled.
The weather broke and Saturday was perfect baseball weather. The field also proved to be in great condition despite the soaking it had received.
The first pitch of the year crossed the plate at shortly after 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Jordan Moynier was on the mound. He walked the first batter, but was helped out as the runner was gunned down trying to steal second. He settled in and held Pocatello to a goose egg to finish off the top of the first.
Helper wasted no time in scoring when Chris Hatch, batting in the number two slot, drove one over the fence for a two run homer. Helper posted two more on the board before it was over. They added one more in the bottom of the second to take a 5-0 lead.
Pocatello woke up its offense in the top of the fourth by sending two across. Helper pulled away for good in the bottom of the fourth, adding four more runs to its total. Kyler Edgehouse and Trevor Thompson also went deep to help defeat Pocatello.
Moynier came out in the fourth. Mike Zaccaria came on in relief and pitched three innings. Ron Herrera was the closer.
Pocatello tried to make a come back in the seventh, but the three runs pushed across were not enough to overcome the strong offense that Helper showed early. The final score was Helper 9-5 over Pocatello.
The second game of the double header pitted the same two teams against each other with very similar results. Brady Wilde took the mound for Helper and pitched three very good innings. A.J. Mitcheson put one over the fence in another good offensive effort for Helper. Mitcheson came on in relief for Wilde and held Pocatello scoreless. Kyler Edgehouse finished up the game to complete the shut out. The final in the second game was Helper 9-6 over Pocatello.
Coach Jeff Cisneros was satisfied with the performance he got out of his players. He rotated several pitchers into the games to give them some mound time. "Overall I thought we played well for our first two games," he stated, "Our pitchers did a very good job all day and our defense was very good. We hit the ball well especially in the first game."
The team was scheduled for play at home yesterday against league rival West at 6 p.m. They are now set to take to the road and will not return for a home game until June 23 to take on Murray at 6 p.m.