By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
OKTAHA — There’s more than one Helsley who has skills on the baseball diamond for Sequoyah High School.
Kyle Helsley slugged a two-out grand slam in the eight-run seventh inning as the Indians outdistanced the Oktaha Tigers 21-11 at Oktaha’s diamond on Monday.
While Kyle’s brother Ryan has signed a baseball scholarship with Northeastern State, the Indians’ center fielder has signed a football scholarship with Ottawa University in Kansas. He laughed about the grand slam after the game.
“If Ottawa needs help in baseball, I can be there, but I really like football and I’ll stick with that,” he said. “It was a 3-1 fastball and a little inside. I knew he (losing pitcher Daceauda Davis) had to throw a strike and I was ready for it.”
It was Kyle Helsley’s second home run of the season. The first came against Kansas at the Westville Classic on March 28. He had singled twice before the grand slam.
After Oktaha had tied the game at 11-11 in the fifth inning, the Indians scored 10 runs in the last two innings. The Indians scored their two runs in the sixth and all the runs in the seventh after two outs to improve to 7-6 for the season.
“We did a good job of getting runners on base and finally got something going,” Sequoyah coach Jeff Turtle said.
Oktaha coach Mike Adair knew much of the damage was self-inflicted.
“Those last two innings should’ve been an up and down inning,” he said. “But if you don’t make plays, good teams will take advantage of it. We got behind in the count (on the grand slam) and we were trying to get ahead. He hit a good pitch.”
Before the grand slam, Sequoyah’s Elijah Tucker slapped a two-run single to increase the lead to 15-11 in seventh. The Indians then increased their lead to 17-11 before the grand slam.
Karter Woodruff, the fourth of four pitchers used by Turtle, go the win. Davis, a left-hander, dropped to 3-4 as the Tigers slipped to 10-8 for the season.
The Tigers had their moments to shine.
Dakota Berry had a two-run single in the three-run first inning that tied the game at 3-3. Berry had three singles in the game, while Josh Bible and Davis each singled twice.
Oktaha tied the game at 11-11 in the fifth inning when Tristan Yarbrough and Berry singled in runs.
Both teams are back in action today as Oktaha plays at Crowder at 4:30 p.m. and Sequoyah visits Keys at 4 p.m.