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Tennessee reigns again in FCA All-Star Challenge

Tanner Cook • Jun 15, 2018 at 12:52 AM

ABINGDON — High school baseball season has been over for a bit, but unfinished business remained for a select few seniors.

They got to take part in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Senior All-Star Challenge on Thursday night at Abingdon’s Falcon Park.

Players from Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia were selected to come together for one final high school game. The Tennessee side dominated and remained undefeated in the nine-inning senior challenge, rolling to a 12-0 victory.

Dobyns-Bennett’s Isaac Whitehead was named most valuable player for Tennessee after finishing with a two-run homer and a triple.

“I felt pretty good about my game tonight, especially coming off the end of the season where there was kind of a gap,” Whitehead said. “I’ve been back for only two games and those were both with the travel ball team. I was very grateful for the opportunity to come out here and play this game. If it weren’t for the Lord giving us this great day to play, none of this would be possible.”

Adam Cox of Union was named MVP for Southwest Virginia. He started the game by striking out five batters over three innings and giving up three runs.

Tennessee was all over Virginia from the get-go. Will Long of David Crockett started the action with a two-run homer in the top of the second that also scored Micah Carrier of the Tri-Cities Flames.

Science Hill’s David Bryant had a solo home run and two RBIs and Ben Grable, his Hilltoppers teammate, contributed four runs.

“This was a great experience and fun seeing all these guys,” Bryant said. “I’ve been playing against these guys for years. I feel I’m ready to take the next step (at Radford). I report in 10 days. I’m pretty excited.”

Everett Hunt of Sullivan East made his presence felt with a two-run double in a four-run eighth. Earlier in the inning, Whitehead ripped his two-run homer.

Logan Estep of Elizabethton tallied the last RBI of the night for the Tennessee side when he plated Whitehead on a sacrifice fly to shallow left field.

Science Hill’s Garrett Wilkins, the first of five Tennessee pitchers, started and allowed no hits in his two innings of work. Tre Shoun of Elizabethton entered in relief of Wilkins and gave up the first Virginia hit of the night, to Abingdon’s Thomas Francisco.

Bodhi Baker of Tennessee High, Jack Emling of Science Hill and Chance Hall of Science Hill also pitched for Tennessee, surrendering just five hits on the night.

Francisco won the home run derby that took place before the game, finishing with three long balls.

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