Monday February 28, 2011Baseball's Brian Johnson Named Louisville Slugger Player of the Week
Sophomore Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) was named as Louisville Slugger’s National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball on Monday for the initial time in his career. He became the first Gator recognized since Matt LaPorta collected the honor on April 2, 2007.
In top-ranked Florida’s series opener with Boston College last Thursday, Johnson retired the first 17 Eagles’ hitters as part of a combined two-hit shutout with sophomore Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.). The southpaw established a school record with 27-consecutive batters retired after setting down the final 10 USF batters in the season opener, eclipsing the previous mark of 23 set by Bryan Augenstein against Cincinnati on Feb. 11, 2006.
Johnson’s stretch versus the Eagles was the second-longest by a Gator pitcher to open a game behind Augenstein and he permitted one hit and had five strikeouts over six innings against BC. No runners advanced to second base in his outing and the lefty threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of the 20 batters he faced. Johnson has tossed 12 scoreless innings to begin the season and is 2-0 with 11 strikeouts, one walk and three hits allowed, while limiting opponents to a .081 batting average. At the plate, he is hitting .385 (10-for-26) and has totaled seven RBI.
Rated No. 1 in the polls released this afternoon by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and USA Today/ESPN, the Gators (7-0) will face No. 5 Florida State (7-0) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. as part of the Florida Four at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The game will be carried on the Bright House Sports Network and be aired in Gainesville on WLUF-TV, channel 6 on the Cox Communications’ cable system. Junior right-hander Tommy Toledo (Tampa, Fla.) (0-0, 0.00) will make his first start of the season against Seminole right-hander Scott Sitz (1-0, 0.00).