By Adam Brown
Ole Miss junior catcher Cooper Johnson was named as the SEC Player of the Week by the league office on Monday after his performance at the plate against LSU.
Johnson helped the Rebels claim their first series win over the Tigers in Baton Rouge since 1982. The junior hit .545 (6-for-11) at Alex Box Stadium, posting a .643 on-base percentage and .909 slugging percentage. He scored six runs and drove in five along the way, tallying one double and one home run.
The junior out of Mundelein, Illinois, went 2-for-4 in game one, hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning that brought the Rebels within one run. He was held hitless in game two but walked and scored a run while catching a game for Ole Miss freshman left-hander Doug Nikhazy, who tossed 6.1 innings with just one run allowed in the Rebels’ 5-1 victory.
In game three’s marathon victory, Johnson was one of the toughest outs on the field, going 4-for-5 with four runs scored and four RBI. His RBI single in the second plated the first of many runs in the Rebels’ 19-15 victory. He then drove home two with an RBI base hit in the third and sent home his fourth on an RBI double in the sixth. After a dramatic LSU comeback, Johnson led off the 10th inning with a walk and came around to score what proved to be the game-winning run.
In Sunday’s win, the Buster Posey Award Watch Lister set new career-highs in hits (4) and runs scored (4) and came one shy of his career-best in RBI.
Ole Miss returns to the diamond this weekend as they welcome in the No. 5 Mississippi State Bulldogs into Oxford.