Abingdon’s Falcons clawed their way to an 8-6 win over Lower Loudon in a winner take all show down for the Senior League State Championship at Lou Peery Field in Tazewell July 12.
Grayson Waddle came through with a two out single plating Jake Thacker to tie the game at six in the bottom of the fifth. Chase Hungate stifled Lower Loudon in their sixth and Jaden Boothe was hit by a pitch to open the Abingdon half of the inning.
Luke Francisco beat out a bunt and Hungate sacrificed to move both runners up for Caleb Collins, who drilled a single to plate the winning runs for Abingdon. Nolan Levenhagen opened the seventh with a single for Lower Loudon before Hungate fanned John McElroy and got Jackson Hickey to line into a game ending double play.
That set off a celebration for Abingdon fans as their team picked up what Manager Scott Boggs said was the first ever state title in boys little league baseball for the town. The win earned them a trip to Plant City Florida and a berth in the Southeastern Regional.
Lower Loudon, who defeated Abingdon 5-3 in the first game of the day jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first and plated another in the second. Abingdon pushed across three in the third to get back in the game and Hungate took over on the mound and held Lower Loudon to just two runs the rest of the way.
Abingdon’s outfielders cut down two runners at the plate to key the Falcon defense. Lower Loudon’s Liam Best went five innings on the mound less than a week after having two teeth knocked out by a line drive in a Monday night’s 5-3 loss to Abingdon.
Best maxed out his pitch count with Lower Loudon holding a 6-5 lead. Both teams battled their way through the 12 team double elimination tournament with Abingdon beating DTQ 5-3 in 10 innings in the winner’s bracket finals.
Lower Loudon fought out of the losers’ bracket with wins over Hampton Wythe and DTQ. Boggs said this group of Abingdon players has been together since they were eight and they never quit. The won a three out of five game series with Washington County to claim their district title.
The Falcons beat King William 6-0 and Fleet Park 7-1 in the first two rounds of the tournament.