The Fayetteville seniors have gotten the monkey off their backs. The Purple Dogs are the 2013 7A Baseball State Champions after a 6-3 win over Rogers Friday at Baum Stadium.
The program won four straight state titles from 2006-2009, but no one on the current team knew what it felt like to hoist a trophy, until now.
Pitcher Kyle Pate was named the tournament MVP and earned the save, coming in for starter Andy Pagnozzi in the sixth inning.
“It’s indescribable,” said Pate. “I’m so pumped and so happy we got that win. I can’t even describe it.”
Fayetteville got on the board first in the second inning with a solo home run by Brett Price. They added to that lead in the fourth inning when Price drove in a run with a triple.
Fayetteville took a 4-0 lead into the sixth inning, but that’s when Rogers made it interesting.
After two quick runs with the bases loaded, Konstantin Storkov doubled to bring in another run, cutting the lead to 4-3.
But Fayetteville quickly silenced the Mounties’ rally with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it 6-3.
“This has been my dream my whole life,” said senior Brett Price. “To come out here and play well, it’s just a dream come true. I’m so excited right now. Just all of my guys out here, it’s a dream come true and I couldn’t ask for anything better to share with all these guys.”
Rogers came into the game the underdog having lost to Fayetteville twice in the regular season. The Mounties beat defending State Champion Byant and No. 1 seed North Little Rock by a combined 21-2 to make it to the title game.
“I’m just proud of my team, how we worked together,” said Konstantin Storkov. “I don’t like that we lost but I like how long we worked in this tournament.”
This is the seventh overall State Championship for Fayetteville and the sixth in the last 10 years.