Helper American Legion Tournament Sidelights
When the Helper American Legion baseball successfully defended their title in Logan Friday night it marked the second time a Helper team has won back to back titles. The first came in 1940 and 1941.
The Logan High field, with its cozy 300 foot right field wall, lacks a light standard in center field causing shadows in that area. This didn't seem to bother Dominic Rondinelli, the Helper center fielder.
He made several outstanding catches to preserve Cole Fossat's bid for a no-hit, no-run game. Fossat carried his bid for the no-hitter into the last inning when a St. George batter lined a long drive for a double in right center that Rondinelli couldn't quite reach. The runner was promptly erased on a Helper double play.
It's old baseball logic that a fielder coming in on a fly ball has the advantage over a teammate going out after a pop up. Failing to follow this cost the Cache County team that Helper met on Wednesday night the game. In the second extra inning of the game Helper, as the home team, had a runner at third base with two outs. A routine pop fly off the bat of the Helper hitter in fair territory between the mound and the first base line appeared to be an easy play for the opposing pitcher. Instead the Cache County catcher came out of his position and attempted to catch the pop up. The ball hit his mitt and rolled away as the Helper runner romped home with the winning run and a 4-3 victory.
Individual honors for Helper went to catcher Colton Greener who was awarded the scholarship given annually at these Legion tournaments, Rondinelli who received the best defensive player of the tournament and to Cole Fossat the outstanding player of the tournament. Fossat pitched a brilliant one-hit, 9-0, shut out in the championship game. He appeared on the mound in several other games during the tournament and was a terror at the plate with a home run winning the first game with St. George.
Fossat joins an elite group of former Helper Legion players earning this distinction, He is the 10th Helper player to achieve the award. The list includes Joe Eaquinta, Louis Tezak, Joe Curia, Bob Van Atta, Art Ray, Dick Ricci, Max Pessetto, Tom Migliaccio and Jaren McCourt. The award was formerly known as the Otto Weisley Award in honor of one of the Legion founders of the state tournament.