06/13/2013 9:47 PM -
Millers' Johnson Off To Strong Start
Through 11 games this season, the offence hasn’t been lacking for the Moose Jaw Miller Express. They lead the league in virtually every offensive category and even losses have shown the ability to put up runs.
One of the players pacing their offensive supremacy has been infielder Hunter Johnson. He’s tied for the league lead in RBIs (12) with teammate Hank Stewart, third in home runs (2) and is hitting for a .366 average. After picking up just two hits in his first four games, Johnson has been on a tear over his past six games, picking up multiple hits in five of them and three hits twice.
“My swing has been feeling pretty good and my timing has been good, which was the main thing that struggled the first couple of games in the season so it’s feeling pretty good,” said Johnson.
The Central Missouri junior has been an unexpected leader on this year’s Millers squad, providing a spark with his bat, but also coming in to pitch in three games and holding down leads for the team. He’s given up only two hits in 4.1 innings of work with six strikeouts. “Hopefully I can keep it going at the plate, I’ll definitely be pitching here and there when needed and just be filling in any spots I can,” said Johnson.
The entire Millers squad has been consistent at the plate to start the year, but the defensive side of the ball has been lacking, leading to the 5-6 record so far. Johnson feels if they can get that turned around they could become a very dangerous team.
“We definitely have a lot of guys that can swing it, one through nine we’re a compilation of three, four and five hitters, there aren’t many weak spots in our line-up,” said Johnson. “If we come around and play more consistent defence, right now we’re a little up and down, we’ll do well because we’ve got some good pitching too.”
Johnson comes to Moose Jaw via Bismark, North Dakota and says he’s enjoying his first summer in the Friendly City, even if it doesn’t feel like summer just yet. “I really didn’t know much about (the league) other than what I’ve heard from guys I played with down at school, Jon Cotter, Marshall Dean and Kevin Gratza, those guys that played up here before,” he said. “I like playing up here, it’s a good group of guys and it’s a good fit.
“I have great billets, they take real good care of me and I’ve been really enjoying it, it’s been a lot of fun to be up here.”
The Millers are on the road on Wednesday as they head up to the Bridge City to take on the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets for the first time this season. Saskatoon is sporting a 2-7 record right now after blowing a 3-0 lead against Swift Current on Tuesday night and losing 4-3.