Helper Struggles at Plate, With Defense, Goes 0-4 in St. George *Photo Gallery*

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Reigning state champion Helper traveled to St. George over the weekend for a tournament in the scoring 100-plus degree heat. Quiet bats and bad defense combined to send the champs back to Price with a 0-4 record.

Helper kicked off the tournament Thursday against Salt Lake Valley League member Cyprus. Emery hurler Dillon Wilstead pitched six strong innings for Helper and kept Cyprus scoreless until the fourth inning when Cyprus got back-to-back hits and drew two walks to take the 1-0 lead. Helper rebounded quickly, though, and knotted the score up at one apiece in the fifth on a RBI single by Mark DeBry, which was set up when Dallyn Mower sacrificed Jarod Lessar to second after he drew a walk. Cole Fossat pitched the final two innings for Helper. Cyprus was able to score a run in the top of the eighth and Helper was unable to respond in the bottom of the frame. Fossat and Wilstead combined to strike out 15 batters on the night. With the loss, Helper dropped into a three-way tie for first place with Cyprus and Herriman in the Salt Lake Valley League standings.

Team                 Runs      Hits      Errors

Cyprus                  2            4              0

Helper                   1            1               1

Wp-Finley, Lp-Fossat, 3B-Quinn(C)

Helper then took on Cedar in the first game of a doubleheader Friday. Again Helper struggled offensively, collecting just four hits in the game. Lessar started on the mound and was credited with the loss. Of the 12 runs scored by Cedar, 11 were scored with two outs. Helper also committed four errors in the game. Bryce Blackburn had two of the four hits for Helper.

Team                 Runs      Hits      Errors

Cedar                   12           9              1

Helper                   3            4              4

Wp-Boyer, Lp-Lessar, 2B- Blackburn(H)

Next up was St. George. Helper came out strong in the first inning, scoring three runs. Fossat started the game and pitched five innings. By the fifth, it was 3-1 in favor of Helper, thanks to a double from Blackburn and singles by Lessar and DeBry. St. George responded with three in bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 5-4. Ridge Nielson came to mound in the sixth. He coughed up four walks and two hits in the innings, giving up the lead for good. Helper scored one run in the sixth to end the scoring for Helper. Final score was 8-6.

Team                 Runs      Hits      Errors

St. George           8           9              2

Helper                  6           5              0

Wp-Ruselen, Lp-Nielson, 2B-Nielson(H), Blackburn(H), Johnston(S), 3B- Clarke(S)

In the final game of the weekend, Helper squared off against Canyon View. Manager Jeff Cisneros gave some younger players an opportunity to see some playing time. Mitch Olson took the mound for Helper and was credited with the loss. Errors once again proved costly for Helper as they committed four alone in the fourth inning, in which Canyon View scored 10 runs. The game ended by a final score of 13-8.

Team                 Runs      Hits      Errors

Canyon View       13         10             4

Helper                  8           6             5

Wp-Johnson, Lp-Olson

Helper hosts Herriman Monday night for a doubleheader, with first pitch in game one scheduled for 5 p.m. Helper, Herriman and Cyprus sit atop the Salt Lake Valley League Standings with one loss apiece.

Photos courtesy of Kraig Blackburn.

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