One of University of Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles' grandsons helped a pair of Razorback signees take home their second straight state title on Saturday night at Baum Stadium.
Fayetteville sophomore Franco Broyles blasted a tie-breaking homer in the bottom of the sixth to lift the defending state champion Purple Bulldogs to a 6-5 win over Conway in the Class 7A state baseball championship game.
That proved to be the game-winner for Fayetteville (24-6), which features UA signees in shortstop Tim Carver and outfielder Jake Fuller.
"I felt when I hit that I knew it was gone, but I wasn't really looking for a home run," Broyles said. "I was just looking to get on base and start a rally for my team."
Broyles, helping Fayetteville win its third state title in five years, blasted the first of the game from reliever Zach Wyatt over the fence in left center – some 350 feet away from home plate.
"I was looking for a fastball and wasn't going to swing if I didn't get it," Broyles added. "But he gave me probably my favorite pitch – high and inside – and I just did what I could with it."
Carver (2-of-4, 2 RBIs) and Fuller (1-for-4, 1 run) also contributed to the win and were overjoyed with their younger teammate.
"Franco got all of it," Fuller said. "I am just estatic about winning a second straight state championship. What a big hit that was for us."
Carver showed off his slick-fielding skills throughout the contest, but wanted to talk about Broyles.
"I was so happy for him," Carver said. "We are good friends. He is like my brother. When he hit that I was like ‘c'mon, get out.'''
Fayetteville head coach Vance Arnold said Broyles certainly didn't look like someone who was going to be winning the game early in the contest.
"His first at-bat was like a sophomore, his second at-bat like a junior and his third like a senior," Arnold said. "He went too quick in the early innings, hit one in the gap out there that the kid ran down and then he just got a high fast ball and just rode it. He got all of it, too. It just kept climbing and we knew when he hit it that it was gone."
It left Carver with another good memory of his future college playing home.
"Anytime I have been out here (at Baum Stadium) great things have happened," Carver said. 'It's a special place and I can't wait to play here for the Razorbacks."
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