California pitcher commits to Hogs before visiting

By: Matt Jones
Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2017
An Arkansas baseball hat and glove sit in the dugout prior to a game against Miami (Ohio) on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
An Arkansas baseball hat and glove sit in the dugout prior to a game against Miami (Ohio) on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas' newest baseball commitment came sight unseen.

Left-handed pitcher Patrick Wicklander committed to the Razorbacks on Monday, four days before he was set to arrive in Fayetteville for his official visit. Wicklander, a senior from San Jose, Calif., has never been to Arkansas.

Perfect Game rates Wicklander the No. 226 prospect in the class of 2018 and the No. 29 left-handed pitcher.

"I'm really looking forward to coming out there," said Wicklander, who will attend the Razorbacks' football game against New Mexico State as part of his recruiting weekend.

Wicklander (6-1, 180 pounds) de-committed from Dallas Baptist three weeks ago for what he described as "family and academic reasons." He said he was drawn to Arkansas' affiliation with the SEC, but also the university's engineering and biology programs. He said he is "60-40" leaning toward a major in biology.

Arkansas pitching coach Wes Johnson was on the Dallas Baptist staff when Wicklander committed there two years ago. Wicklander said Johnson called him earlier this month to see if he had any interest in playing for the Razorbacks.

"I had my eyes set on the SEC," Wicklander said. "I just like all the competition that's out there."

As a junior at Valley Christian High School, Wicklander had a 1.92 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings. Opponents hit .192 against him.

His fastball sits between 89 and 91 mph, but has been clocked at 94 mph.

"I like to view myself as a California kid with a Texas mindset," Wicklander said. "I love my changeup and I throw my off-speed pitches when necessary. My changeup is my go-to pitch.

"I have a lot of movement. Everyone who comments to me says none of my baseballs are straight. The ball is moving everywhere."

Wicklander is the 22nd player to verbally commit to Arkansas in the class of 2018. Verbal commitments are not binding.

Arkansas 2018 Commitments

Wade Beasley, RHP, 6-3, 210, Horatio, Ark.

Josh Breaux, C, 6-1, 220, Tomball, Texas; McLennan CC

Jacob Burton, RHP, 6-0, 175, New Diana, Texas

Caleb Denny, SS, 6-2, 185, Owasso, Okla.

Christian Franklin, OF, 5-11, 174, Overland Park (Rockhurst), Kan.

Allante Hall, C, 6-0, 175, Blue Springs (South), Mo.

Liam Henry, LHP, 6-3, 170, Kansas City (Park Hill), Mo.

Travis Hester, RHP, 6-2, 190, College Station, Texas

Evan Hiatt, LHP, 6-2, 215, Little Rock (Catholic), Ark.

Tyler Isenberg, SS, 5-10, 170, Orange Park (Trinity Christian), Fla.

Dillon Lifrieri, OF, 6-1, 190, Wilton, Conn.

Kam'ron Mays-Hunt, INF/OF, 6-0, 175, Bentonville, Ark.

Connor McCullough, RHP, 6-1, 170, Maumelle, Ark.

Caden Monke, LHP, 6-3, 165, Mt. Olive, Ill.

Connor Noland, RHP, 6-3, 205, Greenwood, Ark.

Steven Sanchez, LHP, 6-7, 230, Mundelein, Ill.

Andrew Stanley, C, 5-9, 170, Searcy, Ark.

Jake Sweeney, LHP, 6-7, 220, Hobart, Ind.

Evan Taylor, LHP, 6-4, 220, Florence, Ala.

Elijah Trest, RHP, 6-3, 210, White Oak, Tenn.

Patrick Wicklander, LHP, 6-1, 180, San Jose (Valley Christian), Calif.

Jacob Wilk, SS, 6-4, 203, Harker Heights (Salado), Texas

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