Helper American Legion places third in state tourney
On July 28, Helper played Grantsville to start off the tourney. Dakota Cisneros got the win on the mound as he pitched a complete shutout and only allowed two hits. The offense was slow as the score was tied 0-0 until the fifth inning. "We scored two runs in the fifth on a double by Seth Tryon and singles by Derek Young and Bryce Blackburn. We scored six runs in the seventh inning. A couple of Grantsville errors and singles by Ridge Nielson, Dakota Cisneros and Jake Nichols. The big hit in the inning was a two RBI triple by Derek Young. Overall we played a good defensive game, our pitching was great and our bats finally came alive in the last couple of innings. The final was 8-0. The win kept us in the winners bracket.
"In game two Helper versus Taylorsville. Derek Young pitched a complete game allowing four runs and gave up six hits. Derek struggled with his location in the early innings but really settled down and did a nice job in getting the win. Again our defense was really good and our offense started a little slow but picked up starting in the third inning. We scored one run in the third on a single by Brandon Oliver and a double by Ridge Nielson. We added two more in the fourth on a double by Jaren McCourt and a triple by Jake Nichols. Taylorsville had a 4-3 lead going into the sixth inning. We scored four runs in the sixth on a triple by Jaren, a single by Seth Tryon, a double by Derek Young and single by Hunter Huntington. We took the lead 7-4 and shut Taylorsville the rest of the way for 7-4 win. We really did a nice job all the way around, our pitching, defense and offense was good all game. The win kept us in the winners bracket.
"The third day saw us playing Tooele. Jake Nichols started on the mound and had no problems in the first inning. Our offense got started early as we scored five runs in the first inning. Singles by Ridge, Dakota, Jaren and Derek did the damage. We added one more in the second inning and took a 6-0 lead. But Jake ran into problems in the second inning. Five hits and two walks allowed Tooele to score five runs and they added one more in the third to tie the score at six. Brandon Oliver came in to pitch and kept the Tooele bats at bay for the next few innings as the score remained 6-6 until the sixth inning. Tooele pushed two runs across and took the win 8-6. We just never got anything going offensively the rest of the game. I thought we relaxed a bit after getting an early lead and we never did recover and get going again. I was extremely disappointed in the loss because I thought we just got lazy and it's frustrating after having an early lead. The loss dropped us in the losers bracket.
"Our fourth game was against West Jordan. Once again Dakota Cisneros took the mound for us and did a great job allowing five runs on five hits and he picked up his second win of the tournament. Again we started quick scoring three runs in the first inning. A double by Tappen Draper, and singles by Dakota, Jaren McCourt and Derek Young did the damage. We added four more runs in the fourth inning on singles by Derek, Tyson Roper, Hunter Huntington. Ridge Nielson then had a bases loaded double to score three runs. Jaren McCourt added a double and we took command of the game. We added three more in the fifth inning on a double by Seth Tryon and a single by Derek. Two more runs in the sixth on a single by Jake Nichols and a double by Derek Young. Tyson Roper came in to pitch the seventh inning and allowed a couple of runs but the damage was already too much for West Jordan to overcome as we took the win 12-7. Once again our pitching and defense was good and our offense really broke out as almost every starter had at least one hit in the ball game. With the win we moved to the final four teams and the games moved to Gates Field and from here on out the games were all nine innings.
"We once again matched up against Taylorsville in the losers bracket as they worked their way back into a rematch. Tyson Roper pitched seven strong innings as he really kept Taylorsville off balance. Our defense was also great turning a couple of double plays and throwing out numerous guys on the bases. We started quickly again on offense as we scored three runs in the first and two runs in the second. A double by Ridge Nielson, singles by Dakota Cisneros and Jaren McCourt got us going. Ridge doubled again in the second inning and our offense was up and going. Taylorsville managed to keep the game close scoring a couple of runs and the score stood 5-4 in our favor after three innings. We scored one in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth inning. Brandon Oliver came in and pitched the final two innings and we ended the game with a 9-5 victory. Ridge had a great game at the plate as he added a triple to his two doubles. We really played a great game and with the hot conditions and with the long nine inning game. I thought we really played a complete game. With the win we had to turn around and play again against Tooele who had lost to Stansbury the day before and dropped into the loser bracket.
"Coming back to play a double header after playing nine innings in 100 degree weather is tough. Colton Greener took the mound for us to start and did a good job through three innings as both teams started out slow. Tooele held a 1-0 advantage after three innings. Tooele bats came alive in the fourth inning as they scored four runs on four hits. Brandon Oliver came in to throw once again but fatigue was starting to show in all our pitchers. Ridge Nielson and Derek Young both made appearances on the mound over the next few innings as Tooele took a 7-0 lead into the sixth inning. We really looked tired as a team but we never stopped fighting. In the sixth inning our offense woke up. We scored five runs on back to back doubles by Jaren McCourt and Jake Nichols. A single by Seth Tryon and another double by Derek Young and we were right back in the game. We did a great job in the inning and was only one more hit away from the tying the game as we had two more runners in scoring position and failed to push them across. Jake Nichols came into pitch the final three innings and did a good job but Tooele continued to score as they pushed four more runs across. We managed to score one more in the seventh on a double by Dakota and two more in the ninth on a single by Jaren and a double by Seth but it was not enough and we lost 11-8 and was eliminated from the tournament.
"The loss meant we finished third and both of our losses came against Tooele who was the number one seed from our league this year. They went on to beat Stansbury in the first game the next day 18-8 and then lost the championship game 15-13 in the last inning. So Stansbury won the tournament and will represent Utah in the West Regional which starts Aug. 9 in Fairfield, Calif. I really thought our guys played a great week of baseball and showed a lot of heart in coming back to make the final game a good game. Our season was a great success as we did not lose a game at home all year, we won our tournament in June and we finished third in the State Tournament. A very young team that will return all but two players next season as Jake Nichols and Seth Tryon will be too old to return. I'm very excited for next season and also very proud of what our team accomplished this season. Please thank all the sponsors for helping us once again this year," said Coach Cisneros.