The Merchants are entering the final week of their shortened season as they prepare for the playoffs.
Helper swept Maple Mountain last week in a doubleheader, 4-1 and 6-3, respectively. Nathan Richens picked up the win in game one, allowing only three hits and one run. He obtained nine strikeouts in the impressive outing. “I thought [Richens] had excellent command,” said head coach Dakota Cisneros. “He stayed ahead of hitters, threw his pitches and controlled the game from the mound.”
Keaton Rich went 2-3 with a double and an RBI while Braxton Bennett went 2-4 with a double, two stolen bases and a run scored. Cayden Steele had a game-high two RBIs and went 2-3 from the plate.
Wyatt Falk led the Merchants in the second game, going 1-2 with a triple, three RBIs and a stolen base. He also picked up the win on the mound with 12 strikeouts while giving up three runs on six hits. “[Falk] made the proper adjustments and stayed in a rhythm on the mound. He controlled the game and made improvements since his last outing.” Cisneros continued, “I really liked Wyatt’s winning mentality. He wanted the ball in his hand the whole game.
Bennet scored three more times in game two and added two more stolen bases while Joran Fossat went 1-2 with an RBI.
The following day, Wasatch came to town and played what turned out to be a back and forth battle. “Some shaky defense and pitching made the game interesting, but we fought hard and gave great effort,” said Cisneros.
Rich came through at the plate in the top of the seventh with a clutch RBI. He finished the day 3-4 with a double and two stolen bases. Bennett also went 3-4 with two stole bases and two RBIs. Fossat had some big hits as he went 2-4 with four RBIs. Falk added another RBI, going 2-3, and Cayden Steele also came through in the top of the seventh with an RBI while finishing 2-4 at the plate.
“It was an ugly game, but we swung the bat really well the whole day,” commented Cisneros after the 11-10 win. Kade Dimick grabbed the win on the mound for the Merchants as they overcame early miscues. “I’m proud of the way we are starting to play,” concluded Cisneros. “If we clean up a few things, we will be in good shape in the playoff race.”
The Merchants will close off the season with a doubleheader on June 30 against Provo and another matchup against Wasatch on July 1 before the playoffs begin.