Helland debuts with Express
Moose Jaw product gets call-up after stellar season in Midget AAA
An impressive and productive season for Moose Jaw baseball product Reece Helland took an even more exciting turn on Sunday night at Ross Wells Park.
Coming off the Baseball Sask. Midget AAA provincial championships in Estevan with the Regina Wolfpack only hours earlier, Helland donned the black and yellow of the Moose Jaw Miller Express for the first time as he pinch hit in the eighth inning of the Express’ blow-out win over the Yorkton Cardinals.
Helland only saw three pitches and struck out, but he took the field at second base in the top of the ninth and slickly grabbed a hard-hit ground ball and fired to first for the first out of the inning.
“It was good, it was a little nervewracking at the start, after those first two pitches I realized I was going to have to do something, but then he threw that curveball the last pitch and kind of made me look silly,” Helland said of his first at bat. As for his first play in the field….
“Honestly, all I was thinking was
do what I do best, making plays on ground balls and I did it, thank god,” he said.
Helland joined the Express after completing his first year of Midget AAA with the Regina Wolfpack at provincials, where his squad lost their first two games before recording a blowout win to close out their appearance.
“It was good, the first two teams we played were pretty high in our league so it was tough trying to battle them, but in our last game I felt we just went out there and hand fun and that was good,” he said.
Helland hit .274 with five doubles and two home runs to go along with 15 runs batted in in 26 games with the Wolfpack, who played in the Sask. Premier Baseball League’s AAA division.
The decision to play at the higher level this season came out of his offseason work with RBI Baseball in Regina.
“I’ve been working with RBI out of Regina and the coach was telling me that AAA skill is a little higher and you can get looked at a little more, so I decided to take that route and it really helped me,” Helland said.
It was enough that the Express took notice. Helland will be part of the team and dress the rest of the season.
“It would be nice to get into a couple more games so we’ll see what happens the rest of the way,” Helland said.
Reece Helland saw action in his first game with the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Sunday night.