March 26, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - After recording one of the most memorable pitching performances in Missouri State baseball history to lift the Bears past Creighton in their Missouri Valley Conference opener, junior right-hander Pierce Johnson was chosen by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as its national pitcher of the week Monday.
Johnson also became the second Missouri State pitcher in as many weeks to earn the MVC's Pitcher of the Week award Monday, joining last week's winner, Nick Petree, on the Bears' honor roll.
Johnson struck out a career-high 16 hitters in a complete-game, five-hit shutout Friday that anchored the Bears' streak of 24.1 consecutive scoreless innings over a four-game stretch last week that culminated in a three-game sweep of the Bluejays. The Arvada, Colo., product's strikeout total represented the most for a Bear hurler during the Division I era and the best single-game effort for any MSU pitcher in 43 years, falling just one short of the school record of 17, shared by Gary Wilson (March 23, 1967) and Charles Burt (May 15, 1969).
Additionally, Johnson became the first Missouri State pitcher on record to post four-consecutive double-digit strikeout outings and extended his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 13 1/3 with his second-straight complete game effort--a 3-0 whitewashing of CU that handed the Bears their seventh-consecutive MVC opening day win.
Missouri State (19-6, 3-0 MVC), ranked 29th in this week's Collegiate Baseball top 30 poll, is back in action Tuesday (March 27) evening with a 6:30 p.m. non-conference matchup against Kansas at Hammons Field.