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STATE SPORTS BRIEFS: Van Buren native transferring to UA | Rochell, Hudson earn honors | UCA's Wildeman named freshman of year

by Mitchell Gladstone | May 11, 2021 at 2:00 a.m.

BASEBALL

Van Buren native transferring to UA

The University of Arkansas received a baseball commitment Sunday from outfielder Landrey Wilkerson, a Van Buren native who will transfer to the Razorbacks from Crowder (Mo.) College.

Wilkerson, 5-10, 190 pounds, will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2022 season. The left-handed hitter is batting .361 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI in 52 games this season at Crowder. He also has drawn 49 walks and been successful in 11 of 15 stolen base attempts. He has a .525 on-base percentage and is slugging .690.

On March 31, Wilkerson was named the NJCAA national player of the week after an 8-for-15 week during which he had 7 extra-base hits, drew 4 walks and scored 12 runs in 5 games.

Wilkerson, who was a four-year letterman at Van Buren, also was recruited by Oklahoma State, Texas and others since he began his junior-college career in the shortened 2020 season. He was batting .432 with 6 home runs and 28 RBI in 23 games when the season was shut down.

-- Matt Jones

FOOTBALL

Rochell, Hudson earn honors

The University of Central Arkansas doubled up on its All-American honors Monday as cornerback Robert Rochell and wide receiver Tyler Hudson were both named to the FCS Stats Perform first team.

Rochell -- who became the highest NFL draft pick in Bears history earlier this month, going 130th overall to the Los Angeles Rams -- finished his senior season with 27 tackles, 3 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery that turned into a 35-yard touchdown.

One of only five FCS players drafted this year, Rochell's All-American honor is the second of his career -- he earned a spot on the Stats Perform second team in 2019 as a junior.

Hudson, following up on a rookie campaign in which he was both a freshman All-American and Southland Conference freshman of the year, joins Rochell on the first team. The sophomore from Spring, Texas, led UCA with 50 catches for 845 yards and 7 touchdowns, averaging 93.9 yards over the Bears' nine games.

Hudson also shouldered the brunt of UCA's punt return duties, returning one of his 15 fielded punts for a touchdown while averaging 7.9 yards per return -- good for 20th in FCS.

-- Mitchell Gladstone

SOFTBALL

UCA's Wildeman named freshman of year

University of Central Arkansas outfielder Jenna Wildeman was named the Southland Conference's freshman of the year Monday, the league office announced.

Wildeman, who is also a first-team All-Southland Conference selection, leads the NCAA with 55 stolen bases and is second in the Southland with a .415 batting average and 42 runs scored.

UCA pitcher Kayla Beaver joined Wildeman on the Southland's first team. Beaver is second in the conference in wins (18) and ERA (1.27).

The Bears had three second-team selections -- first baseman Kaylyn Shepherd, second baseman Mary Kate Brown and pitcher Jordan Johnson. Shepherd has 37 RBI this season, good for fifth in the Southland. Brown is fourth in the conference with 55 hits. Johnson has won 11 games and has a 2.10 ERA.

-- Democrat-Gazette Press Services

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