It was a call Isaiah Campbell waited three years for.
Campbell was promoted to the Seattle Mariners' Class AA affiliate Arkansas Travelers on Monday.
Campbell, a member of the University of Arkansas baseball team from 2016-19, was previously with High-A Everett.
AquaSox pitching coach Matt Pierpont called Campbell on Monday morning to inform him that he'd been promoted and would be going back to the Natural State.
"It's not the university, but I mean [I'm] back in Arkansas," Campbell said. "Four years of my best memories were in this state. It's great to be back. It's good to see the fans. Obviously, the university has the best fans in the world. They're going to show out, they're going to come out and they're gonna support me."
Campbell went 12-1 with a 2.13 ERA in his senior season as the Razorbacks made the College World Series.
He was drafted following the second round as a competitive-balance B selection at pick No. 76 by the Mariners.
Campbell pitched 1181/3 innings his senior season at Arkansas, so the Mariners opted to rest him for the remainder of 2019. He didn't pitch in 2020 due to the covid-19 shutdown of the minor leagues.
In his first professional season in 2021, Campbell pitched in five games but missed the remainder of the season due to bone chips in his pitching elbow and a cleanup of the back of his ulnar bone, which required season-ending surgery.
Campbell was a starting pitcher at Arkansas and began 2022 as a starter but was converted to a reliever the beginning of June. Since the move to the bullpen, he has thrown 15 innings, allowing 0 runs and striking out 20.
"I've had a lot of success, and I have a lot of confidence coming into the Travelers," Campbell said. "I'm not thinking any differently as I was as a starter, just in one-inning stints rather than trying to get six or seven innings every outing."
When Campbell makes his Travelers debut it will be the first time playing this late in a season since his time in Fayetteville.
"It's awesome," Campbell said. "I haven't been playing in August since I was in college, and we were going into fall ball. So it's been a while to be playing in August. But I [couldn't] be happier to be playing in August, getting a full season under my belt. Ending up in Arkansas, it's just kind of like a full-circle situation, and it just puts a smile on my face thinking about it."
Campbell is looking for continued success with the Travelers, but there's something else he's looking forward to that he could only get playing in Arkansas.
"There's some Arkansas fans out there, but you're not going to hear a Hog call out in Everett, Washington," Campbell said. "So I'm gonna be waiting for the Hog call. I know it's gonna come. Arkansas fans love to do it. They're gonna do it often. it's gonna give me a little adrenaline rush [and] make me feel like I'm back at Baum-Walker in front of the best fans."
Campbell wasn't needed Tuesday night at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, as the Travelers defeated the Midland RockHounds 7-5 thanks to a five-run eighth inning sparked by a two-run single by Jake Anchia.