Abingdon, Lebanon are both ready to capture their first state championships

Sports

The Falcons square off against Independence, while the Pioneers host Poquoson

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Both the Abingdon and Lebanon baseball teams have both had their chances to snag the top prize in the state, but both squads have fell short multiple times.

The Falcons have had the chance to snag some hardware four times with the last time coming in 2018. Before that state title game, the last championship appearance came in 1984.

Not only will this team have a chance to make history, but they’ll be doing it at home. Head coach Mark Francisco says being able to play the title game in Abingdon gives his team plenty of confidence.

“It’s a good place to play and being able to play at our park is really nice our opponent tomorrow is a very talented team they have six Division-1 players they’re a newer school out of Louden Co. and they are loaded with talent so it’s gonna be a tall order but our kids are excited about the opportunity,” Francisco said.

The Falcons are dangerous both in the box and in the field. They’ve scored over 10 runs in 12 games this season, while chalking up seven shutouts. The Falcons will have to have this type of success against Saturday’s opponent Independence. Falcons ace Chase Hungate has full confidence in the home crowd playing a role.

“Oh it’s really cool being able to have our community come support us if it was far away some people might not have been able to come out there but having it here a lot of people will be there so it’s gonna be fun,” Hungate said.

Just like Abingdon, Lebanon is searching for its programs first state championship as they square off against Poquoson and these two have some state tournament history. The Pioneers fell to the Islanders 11-1 in the state semifinals back in 2001.

Doc Adams was the head coach during that showdown and he’ll look for a different result on Saturday, but this game isn’t about him or his players.

“That’s what I’ve been telling people all week long, ever since we won Tuesday, it’s not about Doc Adams, it’s not about Lebanon High School, this is about the town of Lebanon,” Adams said.

“We’ve been wanting something like this for years. We’ve been there three times before and we’ve never won it. Like I said, it’s not about Lebanon baseball or Lebanon High School, it’s all about Russell County. We’re playing for Russell County and for the town of Lebanon.”

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