State sports briefs


Kenley hits for cycle in Cardinal victory

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas Razorbacks infielder Jack Kenley hit for the cycle and had 5 RBI in the first game of the Razorbacks' Cardinal and Gray series at Baum Stadium on Wednesday.

Kenley's Cardinal team won 13-0 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Kenley, who went 4 for 5 at the plate, also made three sharp defensive plays at shortstop, including a rangy play to his left in which he spun to throw out Heston Kjerstad by a step at first base.

"He just had a tremendous game," University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Coach Dave Van Horn said. "He's one of the most improved players on our team from when he walked in here a year ago, physically and confidence-wise.

"You combo his defense with a guy swinging the bat as good as he did, he's going to be in the lineup."

Kenley hit a three-run home run as part of a five-run fifth inning that gave the Cardinal an 8-0 lead. He tripled in the seventh and doubled in the eighth to complete the cycle.

The left-handed hitting Kenley hit his home run off left-handed reliever Matt Cronin, a first-pitch fastball that landed in the right-field bullpen.

"I'll tell you, Cronin gets me just about every time, so it was about time I got him once," Kenley said. "He just put a fastball out there and I didn't really get all of it, but I got enough of it and that's all that matters."

Freshman outfielder Brady Disher hit an opposite-field three-run home run off Jackson Rutledge in the first inning, and Rutledge allowed a two-run home run to freshman catcher Casey Opitz in the fifth.

Sophomore Evan Lee earned the victory by allowing 3 hits and a walk and striking out 4 in 6 innings. Lee also went 2-for-5 with an RBI as the designated hitter.

The second game of the series is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday.

-- Matt Jones


ASU's Hansen among Golden Arm candidates

Arkansas State University junior Justice Hansen was named Wednesday as one of the top 20 candidates for the 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to the nation's top college quarterback for his accomplishments both on and off the field.

Hansen was one of 47 initial Golden Arm Award nominees announced in July and remains one of 20 candidates who "have continued to demonstrate skill and talent that have catapulted them to the next level," according to the announcement made Wednesday by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation.

Justice was named the College Sports Madness Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week following each of Arkansas State's first two games this season. He had a school-record 46 completions for 415 yards and 3 touchdowns against Nebraska. The 46 completions also tied the second-most in Sun Belt history and are the most for a single game by a player this season.


UCA has 6 named to scholar-athlete team

Six University of Central Arkansas players were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's Scholar-Athlete Team released Wednesday.

Morgan Felts, Ryan Holdiness, Randi Wallace, Cheyenne Kuhn, Kate Myers, and Mary Mills Lochala were among 57 Southland Conference athletes to earn the award, with Myers holding a perfect 4.0 grade point average for the 2016-17 academic year.

The scholar-athlete team recognizes players with a 3.5 or better GPA for the academic year. A record 7,351 players across seven divisions were honored, with 1,843 of those players competing at the NCAA Division I level.

"I'm very proud of these ladies," UCA Coach David Kuhn said. "They are outstanding student-athletes, and to be recognized by the NFCA is a prestigious honor."

Sports on 10/12/2017

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