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story.lead_photo.caption Peyton Pallette

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas' first baseball commitment after finishing national runner-up came from an in-state prospect.

Benton right-handed pitcher Peyton Pallette committed to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville on Tuesday, about a month after first receiving interest from the program. Pallette, a high school senior, is committed to Arkansas' 2019 class that will sign later this year.

"It's been a dream ever since I was young, and it's finally coming true," Pallette said. "It feels like all my hard work is paying off.

"Just the feeling that I'll be able to be part of a team that was in the national championship in Omaha, I mean it's such a great feeling. I'm really honored."

Pallette, 6-0 and 155 pounds, said he pitched in front of Arkansas coaches at a camp last month and that he and pitching coach Wes Johnson have remained in touch since that time. Pallette said he also received interest from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Arkansas State University and the University of Central Arkansas, as well as some out-of-state junior colleges.

Pallette plays summer baseball for the Arkansas Sticks, a program that includes several other players committed to the Razorbacks in future years, such as pitcher Blake Adams of Springdale Har-Ber and catcher Cason Tollett of Little Rock Christian, the top 2019 prospects in the state.

Sticks Coach Chase Brewster said Pallette has shined as a pitcher this summer after playing mostly third base as a junior at Benton. He helped the Panthers to a Class 6A runner-up finish in 2018.

"He's just a really high quality, one of the better defensive guys in the state," Brewster said. "He never really succeeded [on the mound] like he should, and then in April he shot me a text and said, 'Coach, I think I just want to pitch this summer.' "

Brewster said Pallette's fastball was clocked between 86-89 mph on Memorial Day weekend, and the velocity has increased to 87-90 mph with a high of 91 mph in the weeks since. Pallette also throws a "big-time 12-6" curveball and a changeup, Brewster said.

Oral commitments are not binding.

Sports on 07/07/2018

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