The Helper American Legion squad took a doubleheader from Vernal Tuesday in their final road games of the regular season. The team won the games 9-5 and 14-1. With both counting as regular season games, Helper finishes the regular season with an 11-1 record, good for first place.
Late-inning Helper errors made game one closer than the final score would seem. Vernal scored four in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead from 9-1 to 9-5. Anthony Maclean went the distance on the mound for the win. Tiger Thayn got Helper on the board in the second inning with an RBI single. Doubles by Cole Fossat and Triton Abeyta and an RBI single from Taylon Abeyta in the third inning increased the Helper lead to 5-0. Vernal answered with a single run in the bottom half of the inning before Helper scored another run in the fourth and three more in the fifth to round out the scoring.
With the score sitting at 0-0 until the fourth in game two, Helper notched its first three runs on a single by Chase Morgan and a triple from Ty Anderson. Another five runs in the fifth on triples from Taylon Abeyta and Tel Gardner and singles by Morgan, Triton Abeyta and Zac Bradley pushed the lead to near double digits. Six more in the sixth on doubles by Mitch Olson, Taylon Abeyta and Gardner gave Gardner all the run support he needed during his stretch on the mound. Vernal scored its only run in the bottom of the fourth.
Helper enters the American Legion state tournament, which begins Monday at Layton High School, as the number-one seed out of the south. The team will take on Grantsville at 2 p.m. Before that, though, Helper will welcome an all-star team dubbed PCH on Friday night at 6 and 8 p.m. in a final tune-up before the state tourney.