Old Town’s Connor McCannell slides safely into third base ahead of the throw to Freeport third baseman Julian Gideon during the Class B title game Saturday in Bangor. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

BANGOR — The Freeport baseball team has enjoyed a lot of success in the last five years, winning three B South titles.

But a state championship has proved to be quite elusive.

The latest setback in states came Saturday, when they dropped a 7-3 decision to Old Town in the Class B game.

Despite a comeback attempt in the final two innings, the Falcons (14-7) were unable to overcome an early deficit to the Coyotes (16-4).

The game was a rematch of the 2016 state final, which the Coyotes also won.

“It’s tough, our ultimate goal was to win the state championship and we fell short of that,” said Freeport head coach Steve Shukie after the loss on Saturday. “It was a special and fun season with a disappointing finish.”

Freeport standout pitcher/center fielder Blaine Cockburn was emotional following the loss.

Freeport pitcher Anthony Panciocco (9) delivers a pitch during the Class B state championship game Saturday at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“I know everyone had to deal with similar circumstances, but we went through a lot this season and continued to fight and claw back every single day,” he said. “That’s what I’ll remember most from this group of guys.”

Shukie, who took over prior to the start of the season, praised his team after the game.

“These guys made my first season with them memorable, on and off the field,” he said. “When I look back on this season a few weeks from now with a birds-eye view, I know we will all look at it with success.”

It was an up-and-down year for the Falcons.

Freeport started 9-0, but then lost six straight in a stretch of games to Yarmouth and Greely. It then responded with a five-game winning streak entering the state final.

“Things were a little rocky for us those two weeks when we didn’t win a game, but we played great baseball all season,” said Shukie. “I can’t really look back on a time where I thought we played bad baseball, including (Saturday).”

Shukie added the Falcons were forced to play catch-up on Saturday — something the team hadn’t done a lot of this spring.

Freeport left fielder Caden Benedict tries to recover after slipping in the wet outfield grass to field the fly ball during the Class B state title game Saturday in Bangor. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“Normally, we’ve been getting up on teams and have been playing from ahead this postseason,” said Shukie. “That wasn’t the case here, they (Old Town) were the best hitting team we’ve seen all season.”

The Falcons graduate just four seniors, including Caden Benedict, Julian Gideon, Anthony Panciocco and Elias Thomas. All four started Saturday, including Panciocco, who took the loss on the mound.

However, Cockburn said the Falcons return enough talent to make another run at a crown.

“Yeah, we’ll be back,” said Cockburn, a junior, who is verbally committed to pitch at the University of Maine. “I took a long look at that Gold Glove trophy they (Old Town) were holding up to their fans, I want it even more now for us.”

Added Shukie: “This was a minor setback on what we’re trying to build in this program. Yeah we wish things would have gone differently, but we’re in a good spot.”

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