AUSTIN (KXAN) — Earlier in the season, Texas Longhorns head coach David Pierce lauded LeBarron Johnson Jr.’s ability on the pitcher’s mound. He said he had “electric stuff,” the kind that typically would be from a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. Johnson showed it offf May 6 against the Kansas Jayhawks.
Johnson struck out 12 Jayhawks in seven innings, both career highs, to help lead the Longhorns to a 6-2 win. The Big 12 Conference noticed the outstanding performance and awarded Johnson with the conference’s pitcher of the week honor Monday. It’s the first time he’s received the award, and it’s the second consecutive week a Longhorn has won it. Lucas Gordon was a co-pitcher of the week last week.
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Johnson allowed four hits and one earned run in his start, and most importantly for the Longhorns, he walked only one batter. For the season, Johnson has 68 strikeouts against 28 walks with a team-leading 2.53 ERA. Opponents are hitting .201 against him this season.
Earlier in the year against Louisiana State, one of the best teams in the country, Johnson showed his potential with five scoreless innings and nine strikeouts. He allowed three hits against the Tigers, who score 9.6 runs per game this season.
Oklahoma State’s Roc Riggio and Nolan Schubart were named the Big 12’s player and newcomer of the week, respectively.
Texas (32-17, 12-9 Big 12 Conference) ends the regular season with a 7-game homestand that starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against UT Arlington.