LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Little Rock Christian may win future baseball state championships, but the 2023 Warriors will always be the first.

On Saturday night in the 5A state final, LRCA rewrote the history books in extras. With bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th, Cade Bowman hit a walk-off single to topple Valley View 4-3 and earn the program’s first state title.

“Just surreal,” head coach Brandon Eller said afterwards. “To be honest it still doesn’t feel real. That was a huge hit.”

“Our coach always talks about getting to the dogpile after the state championship,” Cade, brother of UCA shortstop Reid Bowman said. “We’ve been talking about this all year and to go out and do it is just incredible.”

In order to bring the Blazers into extras, Little Rock Christian came back from a 3-1 deficit by scoring two runs in the bottom of the the 5th. A defensive stalemate would ensue, Louisiana Tech signee Reece Tarini throwing over 100 pitches as the Warriors’ starter until being relived by Razorbacks commit Jackson Kircher in the 8th.

After his performance got shaky midway through — a wild pitch getting Valley View on the board and allowing three runs over two innings — Tarini settled back in to close his high school career on top.

“I mean I was tired,” Tarini said with a smile. “I just wanted to push through and end it the right way.”

A shutout performance in extras by Kircher and two pivotal catches in the outfield by Nate Gross kept the score knotted up at 3. Their offense would answer accordingly in the clutch.

With students storming the field after Bowman’s walk-off hit, the victory couldn’t be sweeter for Little Rock Christian. Seniors look forward to seeing this success being the new standard. But they’ll always be proud to see their year atop the list of state titles in the Warriors’ facility.

“It gets us up at that board,” catcher, Oklahoma State signee Charlie Carter said. “I’m just pumped to be a state champion.”

For more reaction from the Warrriors’ win, see Nick’s full highlights here.