Brian Johnson earns SEC weekly award

Brian Johnson can hit, pitch and for the first time in his career, he can say he’s the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.

Johnson, who saw time on the mound, at first base and in the designated hitter spot, batted .471 (8-for-17) with a team-high seven RBI last week.

The junior carried the No. 4 Florida Gators (28-8, 9-6) to victories in three of four games including an upset in Tallahassee against the then No. 1 Florida State Seminoles. Florida clinched its first SEC series in three weeks Sunday vs. the Tennessee Volunteers.

Florida’s baseball team swept the regular-season series with the Seminoles for the first time since 1958. The Gators last defeated a top-ranked team April 18, 2007 when they beat Florida State 5-4 in front of a record crowd at Dick Howser Stadium.

Mixed results met Florida in Knoxville, Tenn. One game after capitalizing on 12 stranded Tennessee runners in a victorious series opener for Florida, the Gators left 12 runners stranded themselves in Game 2.

Johnson made sure the Gators left Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Sunday with the series win.

His first inning three-run double set the tone for Florida en route to a commanding 8-1 victory.

The Cocoa Beach, Fla., native finished 6-for-12 and drove in six of Florida’s 13 runs in Knoxville.

Johnson, chosen to the Golden Spikes and John Olerud preseason watch lists, batted fourth, fifth and seventh for the Gators this past weekend.

This marks the second time this season a Florida player was named SEC Player of the Week. Preston Tucker earned the honor for the week of March 12-18. The senior batted .400 (6-for-15) in a midweek win vs. Florida State and a home sweep of Vanderbilt.

Taylor Gushue grabbed early headlines this season by garnering SEC Freshman Player of the Week twice in the first three weeks.

Right-hander Ryan Eades of LSU and catcher Grayson Greiner were named Pitcher of the Week and Freshman of the Week respectively.

The Gators take on the Georgia Southern Eagles at 7 p.m. on Tuesday for a midweek game and the Georgia Bulldogs at 7 p.m. on Friday to begin a three-game conference series.

Florida plays the next nine games at home in McKethan Stadium at Perry Field.