With one more week left to play before his season-ending Tommy John surgery, the Hawks’ junior is showing although his pitching arm might be done, his bat surely isn’t.
Johnson went 3-for-5, with a triple and a home run, knocked in three runs and scored two more as visiting LaRue County hung on for a 16-14 victory March 31 over John Hardin.
Johnson launched a solo home run into left center field early in the third inning, pushing LaRue County to a 12-3 advantage. Thankfully, the Hawks did just enough to hang on to keep their momentum - and winning streak - going into spring break.
“When I hit it, I figured it was close, if not gone. When I saw it had cleared the fence, I was pretty emotional,” Johnson said. “I get to play spring break, then I get to have Tommy John surgery. It was pretty big for me.”
LaRue County (4-2) won its fourth straight game and knocked off John Hardin (3-3) for the third consecutive time. The Hawks are on quite the offensive tear. They’ve recorded double-digit run totals in each of their last three games, totaling at least 13 runs per game during that stretch, and scored a season-high Thursday night.
LaRue County surged ahead early, scoring 11 runs in the first two innings and grabbing a 13-3 lead in the third. The Hawks batted through the lineup in each of the first two innings and seven players each recorded hits.
“The first couple of innings, they were throwing more fastballs than curveballs,” Johnson said. “We were seeing the ball good. Later on, they got us off balance real good.”
Despite the 10-run deficit, John Hardin stayed in the game because LaRue County had all kinds of trouble trying to field a clean ball. The Bulldogs took advantage of LaRue County’s eight errors, including two each in the third and sixth innings, to keep within striking distance. LaRue County players dropped two balls in the outfield, threw a couple more away from the catcher spot and fumbled away a handful in the infield.
“It’s nice to be hitting the ball. But when you hit the ball this well, you shouldn’t have to worry about it being a two-run game in the seventh inning,” Hawks coach Chris Price said. “We really need to focus on the other part of the game.”
LaRue County is playing in the Florida Beach Bash at Fort Walton Beach this week.