« Baseball 2018

Tristan Helms

Appalachian State
Relief pitcher


Tristan Helms has a cumulative GPA of 3.53 as a finance major who plans to become a financial advisor. He has made the dean’s list every semester, and he’s also consistently made the Appalachian State Athletics’ Academic Honor Roll. Helms also is part of the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.


Helms, who started a Bible study for team members, walked on to the baseball team as a freshman and was cut in the fall before his sophomore season. He was told he needed to learn a submarine delivery because his standard velocity wasn’t high enough. He taught himself that style in the offseason and regained a spot on the team shortly before the season began. He was cut again after his sophomore season but again regained a roster spot following a change in head coaches.


Helms is the vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for Appalachian State, and he was App State’s representative when the Sun Belt Conference held its on-campus winter meeting in Arlington, Texas. In April, the SAAC identified mental health as an issue important to student-athletes and came up with the #StrongAintWrong hashtag to convey the message that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but strength. That’s the motto the Sun Belt carried into Mental Health Awareness Week. When heavy rain caused severe flooding in Boone recently, he and his teammates dug trenches and built a roof to protect the porch of a woman’s house in the community. He works with young children at the Blowing Rock School, gathered boxes for the Operation Christmas Child project, volunteered time at a Salvation Army during the trip to Arlington, teaches baseball to children at App State’s youth clinics and works with the Baptist Campus Ministries.


As a left-handed, submarine-style reliever, Helms appeared in 22 games last season and had a 1-0 record. Through the first 17 of his 22 appearances, he had a 0.82 ERA with one run and seven hits (all singles) allowed over 11 innings. He didn’t allow a run in 17 of his 22 appearances.

Through five appearances so far this season, Helms has a 3.86 ERA and has allowed only two hits (both singles) and no runs while retiring seven of nine batters in his last four appearances.