There was a lot of baseball action this past weekend in Helper as the Merchants hosted a four-day tournament. To start it off, the Merchants and Union took the field. Helper got off to a quick start, scoring three runs in the first and never looking back. The Merchants went on to win the game 6-2.
“I thought our pitching was great,” said head coach Dakota Cisneros. “Keaton Rich, Wyatt Falk and Tyler Wright all threw a lot of strikes and kept Union’s hitters off balance the whole game.” Braxton Bennett went 2-2 and stole two bases while Jordan Fossat went 2-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Everything came together for the Merchants in the second game against Tooele. Helper exploded with 13 runs to take the matchup 13-1. Fossat again went 2-4 with two RBIs. Wyatt Falk went 1-3 with a double and two RBIs and Bennett walked three times and came around to score each time. “We did everything right in this game. Jordan Fossat dominated on the mound, which is something he’s capable of doing every time he is on the hill. We were disciplined at the plate and played perfect defense,” commented Cisneros.
Perhaps fatigue set in on day three. Helper came out and showed its worst performance of the tournament. Cisneros reflected that “we were flat and we didn’t do anything that we did the previous two nights in order to be successful.” Skyline took advantage of the Merchants miscues and went on to win the game 9-6.
“I was disappointed in this game with the way we represented ourselves and Helper… We beat ourselves and gave up our chance to play in the championship game,” said Cisneros.
Fossat stayed hot at the plate, going 2-4 with a double and two RBIs. Bennett went 1-2 with a double, Derick Robison added an RBI, going 1-3, and Brayton Nielsen went 1-2 with an RBI.
The Merchants came back on Saturday and played the right way. With the game tied at three heading into the bottom of the ninth, pinch hitter Falk led things off with a single. Wright then made contact with two strikes and was rewarded when both runners reached base safely. Rich was up next and laid down a “beautiful” bunt, which he was able to beat out to load the bases. Hart then came to the plate and wore a pitch, sending the winning run home. Helper secured third place in the tournament with the 4-3 victory over Alta. Rich went 3-4 in the final game while Bennett went 2-4 with an RBI.
“Tyler Wright came in to pitch in the top of the sixth and threw great. He had great command and threw a lot of strikes…. he shut [Alta] down for 3 and 2/3 innings to help us to the win. I was very proud of the way we handled adversity in this game. Overall, it was a great weekend. We got better and that’s what the goal was for these games.” Cisneros concluded, “I’m excited to see where the rest of our season takes us.”