Panciocco was a rock for the Falcons, whether it was on the mound, at shortstop or at the plate, as Freeport made yet another spirited playoff run all the way to the Class B state final.
Panciocco, who also impressed on the gridiron in high school, first appeared on the varsity baseball team as a freshman, then emerged as a standout as a sophomore, making the All-Conference team as the Falcons reached the state game, only to lose to Ellsworth. After he missed his junior season due to COVID, Panciocco made sure that he and his team made the most of their return to action this spring.
Panciocco hit .373 with seven doubles, a home run, 17 runs scored and a dozen RBI, while also stealing seven bases on eight attempts. He gave Freeport solid play at shortstop as well and was one of the team’s top pitchers.
Highlights included a home run versus Gray-New Gloucester in a victory in the opener, three hits and two RBI in a second win over the Patriots, three hits in a win over Cape Elizabeth, an RBI double in a second win over the Capers, three hits and three runs scored in a victory over Morse and a pair of RBI in a win over Lake Region, as the Falcons started the year 9-0. Freeport then lost six straight before closing with a win over Lake Region.
The Falcons then embarked on a stirring playoff run, rising from the No. 9 seed to regional champion, with Panciocco playing a pivotal role. Panciocco doubled twice as Freeport downed Fryeburg Academy in the Round of 16. He doubled again in a win over Gray-New Gloucester in the quarterfinals, then earned the win on the mound and added a pair of hits in a victory over York in the semifinals. In the regional final against Greely, Panciocco had a pair of hits and scored twice, then started the game-ending double play in a 4-1 victory. He took the loss in the state game against Old Town, but bowed out with two more hits.
Panciocco plans to attend the University of Wisconsin next year.
Anthony Panciocco, Freeport’s Spring Male Athlete of the Year, came up huge time and again this season as he and his team saved their best for last.
Coach Steve Shukie’s comment: “Anthony was our team leader from day one. He was a four-year member of the varsity squad and our best overall player this season. He held himself to a high standard which rubbed off on the younger guys on the team. He had a hand in pretty much every big rally we had this year and competed on the mound whether he had his best stuff on that day or not, often getting stronger as the game went on. It will be hard to replace his production on the field, but maybe even harder to replace the intangibles he brought with him every day.”