ST. GEORGE – Cole Fossat had a three-run home run and Anthony MacLean, Cody Lowe and Taylon Abeyta had doubles as Helper downed St. George 12-6 in the second game of a doubleheader Friday night.
Needing a win to force the title game, St. George got a solid pitching effort from Brooks Barney in the opener, 6-2. But the victory in the nightcap essentially hands Helper the championship of the Southern Utah American Legion Division.
Helper, at 9-1, has a 1 1/2 game lead on the Sentinels with 2 1/2 left and also holds the tiebreaker, having won two of three from St. George this season.
Both teams qualified for the state American Legion tournament in Layton July 25-29.
“We battled all night,” said Sentinels coach Shane Johansen. “We got good efforts from Ryke Erickson, Alec Flemetakis and Anthony Cornwall, among others.”
In the opener, St. George began with a five-run first inning and Barney held on from there.
Cornwall and Tobie Swenson drove in two runs apiece in the inning. Kory Taigen opened with a walk and Erickson singled ahead of a Cornwall single. After Flemetakis was hit by a pitch and Swenson tripled, Barney singled him home.
Swenson had a solo home run in the sixth for the Sentinels.
Flemetakis started off strong on the mound in the second game but then Helper got its bats going and the late game was never close.
Helper, which has won state two of the past three seasons, draws from several schools in Carbon County and the surrounding area. Fossat was a star for the Carbon Dinos in the spring and led the state with 19 extra base hits, including six homers.
The Sentinels are 12-11 overall and 7-2 in the Southern Division. St. George plays the Vernal American Legion team at 1 p.m. today in Richfield, then battles Price in a doubleheader Tuesday night at Beaver High School. A non-league doubleheader against the Southern Nevada Bulls Wednesday night (6 p.m.) at Panther Field will close out the regular season for the Sentinels.
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