BRISTOL, Tenn. — Tennessee High shut down the high-scoring Abingdon Falcons to claim the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Tournament title Saturday afternoon with a 12-4 win.
Tennessee High started off the scoring in the second inning with left fielder Nick Dobbins smacking an RBI single into center field. The lead was short-lived though, as Falcons first baseman Tanner Barrs crushed a solo home run over the right-field fence to tie the game in the top of the third.
The Vikings went on to score seven runs in the bottom of the third with Dobbins capping the offensive outburst with a grand slam. Abingdon scored twice in the top of the fourth and was threatening to close the gap even further when Vikings first baseman Jason Vanhoy snagged a line drive and beat Falcons left fielder Caleb Collins back to the bag for an unassisted double play.
Tennessee High scored two more runs in the fourth inning and increased its lead to 12-3 in the sixth on a two-run homer to left-center field off the bat of Vanhoy.
“[Abingdon is] gonna go on and win tons of ballgames. By far they’re the best team we’ve faced all year to this point,” said THS coach Preston Roberts. “I’m just really proud of our guys. I’m proud of their effort. Five games in five days is always tough, but the energy was there, and we came out ahead.”
Dobbins led the Vikings offense, going 3-for-3 at the plate with his grand slam, five RBIs and a stolen base. Center fielder Gavin Cross was 0-for-1 with a walk, two hit by pitch, two runs and two stolen bases, while third baseman Davis Hall finished 1-for-2 with two walks, two runs, an RBI and a stolen base. Vanhoy finished 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs in the win.
Abingdon designated hitter Colin Matney was the only player on the team with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored. Falcons leadoff hitter Barrs was 1-for-3 in the loss, with his game-tying home run as his only hit.
Vikings shortstop Banks Presson was 0-for-4 at the plate with a run scored, but his biggest contribution to the win came on the mound as he allowed just one run, one hit and three walks with three strikeouts over the final three innings of the game. Roberts said that Presson’s late-inning performance was one of the big keys to the Vikings coming out on top.
“Banks hasn’t thrown all year,” Roberts said. “I guess you would call him our closer because he is our highest velocity guy, and he came in and threw the last three innings and competed really well.”
Abingdon (4-1) will be on the road for its next contest, traveling to Ben Hur to take on Lee High at 7 p.m. Friday. Meanwhile, Tennessee High (13-1) will stay at home for a Big Seven Conference showdown against Science Hill at 6 p.m. Monday.
“It’s going to be a really tough test to say the least. Science Hill is the largest school in the area and they’ve always got a very talent-rich program,” Roberts said. “It’ll be a test. But you know what, with my guys I don’t ever count them out of anything. I don’t count them out of anything. They’re not afraid of nobody and we’ll be ready for them.”