Monday April 16, 2012Baseball's Brian Johnson Named SEC Player Of The Week
University of Florida junior left-hander/designated hitter Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) was chosen as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday for the first time in his career after helping the Gators (28-8/9-6 SEC) to three victories in four outings last week, a 6-3 triumph over No. 1 Florida State and a series win at Eastern Division rival Tennessee (3-1, 4-5, 8-1). Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s club climbed from No. 4 back to No. 1 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll released this afternoon.
Johnson batted .471 (8-for-17) with a team-high seven RBI last week. He went 2-for-5 with a single in the second inning and a solo homer in the ninth inning to lift the Gators to the victory over the Seminoles at sold-out Dick Howser Stadium. UF swept the three-game regular-season series against FSU for the first time since 1958 and defeated the nation’s top-ranked team for the first time since April 18, 2007.
Over the weekend at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, he hit .500 (6-for-12) in the series victory over the Vols and collected six of Florida’s 13 RBI in the three outings. Johnson was 2-for-4 in the opener and tied the game in the fourth with an RBI single, with UF going on to notch a 3-1 victory. He went 3-for-5 in game two, with a leadoff homer in the second inning, an RBI double in the third and a one-out single in the ninth. In the finale, Johnson delivered a three-run double in the first inning and pitched six scoreless innings (6 H, 4 K, 1 BB) to help the Gators secure the win in the rubber game, 8-1. After claiming the series on its last trip to Rocky Top in 2010, it marked the first time since 1998-2000-2002 that the Gators had emerged victorious in consecutive visits to Knoxville.
On the season, Johnson is 5-1 with a 3.88 earned run average and has 39 strikeouts in a team-high 48.2 innings. He has a .315 batting average with 23 RBI, 11 runs, six doubles and four round-trippers, to go along with a .517 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .347.
LSU sophomore right-hander Ryan Eades was the league’s Pitcher of the Week, while South Carolina catcher Grayson Greiner was the league’s Freshman of the Week. The No. 1 Gators return to action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. to face Georgia Southern (22-16/10-8 SoCon) at McKethan Stadium to begin a nine-game homstand.