Former Brookwood Panthers helps deliver Ole Miss Baseball a National Championship
From WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Sam Holley
Last week, Ole Miss pitcher Brandon Johnson, a former three-sport athlete at Brookwood High School, dominated in his save opportunity in the ninth inning of the Rebels 4-2 win over Oklahoma in Game 2 of the College World Series, securing Ole Miss its first baseball national championship in school history.
“There was no emotion. I kind of blacked out,” Johnson said. “Usually after a game, I usually have something — not choreographed, but I know what I’m going to do after the game. And there, I had no emotion. It was a dream come true. Ever since you’re a little kid, you dream of being on the mound in those situations. And when it happened, you just let go of yourself because you realize that you did do it. And it didn’t hit me until probably 20 minutes after it happened, after the last pitch happened what was going on. So when it happened, the emotions were true, because there was none.”
Johnson’s former high school coach at Brookwood, Jeff Bell, said the celebration after the final out looked familiar to one that occurred in 2017, after Johnson helped the Panthers baseball program clinch a playoff berth.
“First of all (Brandon) is a very emotional guy anyways,” Bell said. “So anytime he comes to a game out here, there is an outpouring of emotion from him. I watched all the games and when there is a lead in the ninth I’m definitely paying attention to it. It’s the same guy that I knew (at Brookwood).”
In Sunday’s decisive game against Oklahoma, Johnson struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth inning for his 12th ‘save’ of the season. Johnson finished this postseason with four appearances, allowing 4 hits and 2 runs through 4.2 innings.