Friday night’s home game at the Helper Legion field was an emotional one. The team honored long-time Coach Jeff Cisneros for all the work and time he has given to the Helper American Legion team. They rewarded him also with a 10-3 win over Olympus. Helper also was victorious over Judge by the score of 4-2 to take the Salt lake Valley Legion Title.
Cisneros is retiring as the head coach of the Helper Legion team at season’s end. He has coached over 300 boys, won more that 400 games and has taken his teams to the state tournament 18 times in 20 years. His wife Val Cisneros was also honored for the hard work and support she has given the team through the years.
The state championship 10-year-old Cal Ripken team was also honored before the game on Friday. Each player was introduced and went out on the field with their Legion counterpart. The team is now in Visalia Calif. for the Pacific Coast Region Playoffs.
Despite a long pregame ceremony, Helper stayed focused and jumped on Olympus early and led 8-0 after three innings. Jordan Mellen started on the mound and pitched four innings and only gave up one run. Dakota Cisneros came in and closed out the game and allowed two runs in the sixth. Helper tacked on a pair of runs in the fifth inning for a final score of 10-3.
“We started the game playing very good defense but we made five errors after the fourth and that is what allowed Olympus their runs. Our bats were hot and cold all game,” Coach Cisneros said. “I thought we played very good early in the game but again we kind of cruised late and we made some errors that cost us some runs. We need to make sure that we are continuing to play full games in order to get ready for the state tournament.”
Mellen led the offensive attack with two doubles and a single. Ridge Nielsen and Tyler Procarione also had two singles on the night.
Team Runs Hits Errors
Olympus 3 5 2
Helper 10 8 5
WP-Mellen (H), LP-Beck (O), 2b-Mellen(H)2, Affleck(WJ), Skash(WJ)
Saturday afternoon’s game was a make up of a game against Judge, which was rained out Thursday. Jarod Lessar pitched four solid innings and gave up one run and three hits. Derek Young came in and finished the game and allowed a run and a hit.
Helper pulled even with the early Judge lead when they scored a run in the third. The score stayed tied until the fifth inning when Helper jumped out with three more runs. Jaren McCourt led the inning off with a solo home run. Later in the inning Ridge Nielsen had a two-RBI single to close out the scoring. Young had a good day at the plate also as he had a pair singles and a double.
“This was a well-played game and Judge made some great defensive plays the entire game to keep the score close,” Coach Cisneros said. “The win put us 14-1 in the league and gave us the league title. We are now 22-2 on the year and will finish the regular season tomorrow night with a doubleheader at five and seven in Helper against a 19 and under traveling team from Northern Utah.”
Team Runs Hits Errors
Judge 2 4 1
Helper 4 7 3
WP-Derek Young(H) LP- Robinson (J), 2b-Young(H), HR- McCourt(H)
Saturday was the Slat Lake Valley League All-Star Game. Helper and Price players all played very well. McCourt was named the offensive MVP. MCourt had a three run-homer in the first and a RBI single later in the game. The East All-Stars won the game 16-5. All of the local players were on the East team.
“The game went really well and the park look great. We received many kind words on the park and the atmosphere of the game,” Coach Cisneros said. “This game was a good ending to the 2013 league season.”
The state tournament will start Saturday July 27 and Helper will be the number one seed from the Salt Lake Valley League. The top six teams advance to the state tournament. They include Helper, Cyprus, West Murray, Herriman and Westlake.