ETV News stock photo by Jeff Barrett
The Merchants traveled to Manti on Tuesday where their bats stayed hot. In Game 1 of the doubleheader, Helper came out of the gates blazing and put up nine runs in the first. In fact, Dallen O’Neil hit a three-run blast to left to make it 7-0 before the first out was ever recorded.
Rylan Hart also hit a two-run homer in the inning as the Merchants broke open the contest. Helper scored in each of the first five frames and led by as many as 14 runs. When it was all said and done, the Merchants defeated Manti 17-6.
O’Neil finished 2-2 with a homerun and four RBIs. Hart (1-2 with a homerun), Wyatt Falk (1-3) and Logan Madrigal (1-1 with a double) also brought home two runs while Chet Anderson, Tyrus Madsen and Jacob Vasquez each hit a double. Ridge Nelson picked up the win on the mound, giving up two runs in two innings. He also struck out three batters in that span.
In Game 2, Manti overcame a two-run deficit and was up 4-2 going into the fifth. Helper used a patient approach in the top half to the tune of three walks, two hit by pitches and two singles to score six runs and retake the lead. Manti then pulled within one in the bottom half, but the Merchants closed the door in the sixth. Helper scored five more runs, all with two outs, to sweep Manti 13-7.
Nelson was the star at the plate, going 2-3 with a triple, double and four RBIs. Braxtin Henrie finished 2-3 while Falk went 2-5 with a ribbie. Jordan Fossat picked up the win, lasting four innings and giving up four runs, two of which were earned. Amazingly, 10 of the 12 possible outs Fossat recorded were via the strikeout.
Helper will now gear up for Vernal’s arrival on Tuesday.