FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The hero of the Fayetteville Regional is moving on.
Charlie Welch announced via Instagram Monday that he will not return to Arkansas, and instead will sign with the Seattle Mariners.
Welch wrote: "Arkansas, it is hard to truly express in words how grateful and blessed I am to have played for this state. Thank you to my brothers, who were always there to pick me up and push me to be better. Thank you to my coaches, who helped me develop my game into what it is today. Thank you to my trainers, who helped develop my strength as well as keep me on the field. Thank you to the fans who adopted me like a son and always were there to support. Thank you Arkansas for making this past year the best year of baseball in my life. With that being said, I am blessed and honored to say I will be continuing my career professionally with the Seattle Mariners. #TYG 🔱 "
Despite spending just one season in a Razorbacks uniform, Welch wrote himself into program lore with a towering three-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning of the decisive game of the Fayetteville Regional, sending the Diamond Hogs to a 6-2 win over Nebraska.
Welch quickly became known for his clutch pinch hits, and ended the season with a team-leading .388 average, racking up eight home runs, five doubles and 25 RBI in 67 at bats.