As the Arkansas baseball team’s season winds down, third baseman Cayden Wallace is looking to stay hot.
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In only his second season, in which he’s primarily been the lead-off hitter, Wallace leads his team in starts (51), at-bats (205), runs (46), hits (63) and stolen bases (10). He is second in RBIs (43) behind teammate Brady Slavens, and second in batting average (.307) behind Michael Turner. Last season, Wallace earned freshman All-American status by starting in 60 games and collecting a team-best 67 hits, and he was also named to the freshman All-SEC team.
He’s a big reason why the Razorbacks are ranked No. 7 in the nation this year with a 37-14 overall record, despite dropping two of three games to No. 24 Vanderbilt this past weekend. Their 17-10 conference record has them sitting atop the SEC West standings, with their final regular-season series coming up at Alabama starting Thursday.
Arkansas is looking to improve upon last season, when it entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 team in the country. It advanced to the Super Regionals, but fell short of the College World Series after losing to North Carolina State.
As the postseason draws near and his strong season continues, Wallace aims to also walk as a faithful follower of Jesus. He describes himself as a “Child of God” on Twitter, and a “Follower of Christ” on Instagram. That foundation was laid for him by his family growing up in Greenbrier, Arkansas.
Cayden’s mom, Christy Wallace, told 501 Life Magazine last summer that her boys — Cayden’s older brother, Paxton, is with the Single-A affiliate in the Los Angeles Angels organization — share a passion for baseball along with their strong faith.
“They understand that baseball doesn’t define them. God has a plan for them each and every day, and they just need to get up and give it their best every day,” she said.
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Christy said that faith, family and friends are the most important things for her and her family. Her husband, Mike, aims for their sons to be better men than athletes.
“We want our boys to be great ball players, but we want them to be even better people,” Mike told 501 Life Magazine.
Those lessons have taken root in Cayden.
“Even on bad days at games, even outside sports, they raised me and my brother to be more focused on God than baseball,” Cayden told 501 Life Magazine. “They’ve led by example. We couldn’t have asked for better parents.”
Along with Christy and Mike, Paxton has helped shape Cayden into the player and person he is today.
“My brother has influenced me big time, definitely my biggest influence,” Cayden told 501 Life Magazine. “He’s a great role model on and off the field. He has a great attitude all the time, through the ups and downs. Seeing how he responds has been big to me, how hard he works. He’s just a great leader and role model and brother. We’re like best friends.”
The brothers say they push each other to become better, and together are shaping their baseball craft.
Cayden’s next chance to keep his hot season going is the three-game series with Alabama starting Thursday. The SEC Tournament then begins on Tuesday, followed by the NCAA Tournament starting June 3.
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