Senior transfer Marcus Johnson has delivered a hot start at the plate three conference series’ into the 2023 season.
Johnson is second on the Oklahoma Christian baseball team, hitting a .360 average behind only Blake Empkey, who is hitting .375. Johnson has a team-leading 18 hits, including one home run with a laser down the left-field line against St. Mary’s.
He has also started every game in center field for the Eagles, playing solid defense throughout.
“I came here to prove something and to make an impact on the team right away,” Johnson said. “When I got the opportunity to come here, I knew it was the right place for me.”
An instant impact is an understatement. Johnson left the first series of the year against University of Texas-Tyler hitting over .600.
“Playing that way definitely boosted my confidence, but at the end of the day, it was just one series, so I try not to take it for granted,” Johnson said.
Johnson chose to transfer to Oklahoma Christian after one season with Lone Star conference opponent University of Texas-Permian, where he hit .302 in 30 games.
Johnson’s explosion at the plate follows an offseason where he focused on taking care of his body, pushing himself on and off the field and a needed change of scenery.
“Transfering here is becoming one of the better decisions of my life,” Johnson said. “Since coming to Oklahoma for my last season, I have gained a new sense of focus in all aspects of my life.”
He credits this new sense of focus for his early success.
“My body has never felt better, and my focus on the field is clearer than ever,” Johnson said. “This change of scenery is proving to be a real positive change.”
Johnson’s impact has boosted the Eagles and their annual high powered offense. The team has tallied 34 runs in their last three games, and they have scored at least six runs in 11 of 13 games so far.
“Obviously, I am proud to be making an impact early on, but we still have a long way to go and we simply can not get complacent,” Johnson said. “The Lone Star is filled with great teams, us being one of them, so I have to stay locked in day in and day out.”
The Eagles are preparing for a tough stretch of conference games over the next few weeks. The team will travel to Lubbock, TX, to play Lubbock Christian University, who swept them last season, and then play the top 3 team in the country, Angelo State University.
“Every team in this conference has [the] potential to beat anyone on any given day. That is why I wanted to stay within the conference when I chose to transfer,” Johnson said. “Although we have some good teams coming up, it is no different than any other weekend, and we truly believe we are not to be taken lightly.”
Oklahoma Christian is tied for fourth in the conference after the first month of play, and Johnson exuded confidence in the team moving forward.
“We have shown promise so far, but we are still trying to figure out what type of team we are,” Johnson said. “We [are] only going to go up from here, that’s for sure.”
The Eagles start their next four game series at Lubbock Christian University on Friday, March 3 at 5:00 p.m.
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