New Mexico champion Albuquerque bested Utah winner Helper 10-5 Thursday in the opening round of the American Legion Western Regional baseball tournament Thursday in Surprise, Ariz.
Helper, which won back to back Legion state titles for the first time since the early 1940s when legendary Utah athlete Rex Berry played at the Carbon County school, could not overcome early New Mexico leads.
New Mexico took early leads of 4-0 and 7-1 and, though Helper rallied late, was in command most of the way.
The double elimination tournament continues Friday. Helper plays the loser of a later game at 8 a.m. and will have to go unbeaten from this point on to advance.