Friday June 15, 2012UF's Brian Johnson Named Finalist For John Olerud Award
Florida junior left-hander/designated hitter Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) was announced as one of the three finalists for The College Baseball Hall of Fame’s John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award on Friday. He joins Gonzaga sophomore Marco Gonzales and Stanford junior Stephen Piscotty in contention for the prestigious honor. Johnson is seeking to become the first Gator to take home the prize.
A first-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA)., Johnson was a second-team All-American by Louisville Slugger. Chosen first-team All-SEC for the past two seasons, he is 8-4 with a 3.56 earned run average on the mound and has 68 strikeouts in 86 innings, to go along with a .314 clip, 41 RBI, 24 runs, 13 doubles and six homers. The southpaw tossed his first career complete game to oust fourth-ranked South Carolina from the SEC Tourney on May 25 and matched his career high with four hits in the semifinal round the following day against Vanderbilt. In his most recent outing on the mound, Johnson limited the high-powered Georgia Tech offense to one run on three hits over five innings on June 3 as the Gators cruised to a 15-3 victory over the Jackets to punch their fourth-straight ticket to Super Regionals. Johnson batted .429 (3-for-7) in the sweep of No. 11 NC State last weekend and tied the second encounter with the Wolfpack with a solo homer in the eighth inning of Florida’s eventual 9-8 triumph in 10 innings. He will draw the start in Florida’s NCAA College World Series opener versus the Gamecocks on Saturday at 9 p.m., live on ESPN.
Gonzales, a sophomore from Ft. Collins, Colo., batted .325 with two home runs, 29 RBI and an OPS of .802. However, it was on the mound where he shone brightest, going 8-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 12 starts. He struck out 92 batters and walked only 23 in 92.2 innings and opponents batted .201 against him.
Piscotty, a junior from Pleasanton, Calif., ended the season batting .329, with five home runs and a team-leading 56 RBI and an OPS of .882. His season was shortened on the mound but he finished with a 6-2 record and a 3.05 ERA over 12 games and four starts. He was selected 36th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
The winner of the John Olerud Award will be named on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas, as part of College Baseball’s Night of Champions. The event also features the announcement of the winners of the National Pitcher of the Year and Brooks Wallace Award. The Johnny Bench Award, the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award and Dick Howser Trophy are also presented, as well as the 2012 National College Baseball Hall of Fame inductions.