West Lafayette – Crawfordsville’s own Trent Johnson is making a name for himself at the collegiate level. Johnson just finished his second season at Purdue and he is quickly becoming a force on the mound just like he was during his time at Crawfordsville. 

The former Athenian spoke about what it’s been like to pitch for the Boilermakers.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” Johnson said. “I’ve always wanted to play baseball at one of the highest levels and pitching here at Purdue in a really tough conference like the Big Ten has allowed me to do that, and I’m just enjoying the ride.”

Last season, Johnson was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team as he posted a 1.76 ERA in 18 appearances with a record of 3-1 in 41 innings pitched. In those 18 appearances he struck out 39 batters while walking 30.

Coming into the 2019 season Johnson knew he wanted to see his walks go down and strike outs go up.

“As a pitcher, it’s obvious that you have to throw strikes,” he said. “I just really worked hard with the coaches to improve and fine tune my mechanics in the off-season. I really want to credit them for helping me with that part of my game.”

That hard work paid off in a huge way for him as Johnson did exactly what he envisioned. He saw his strikeouts go up from 39 to 73 and his walks decrease from 30 to 19.

In his first two seasons Johnson has compiled a 6-4 record with a 2.40 ERA. He has struck out 112 batters at this pace could look to enter the top five in career strikeouts at Purdue.

Johnson has already etched his name in the Purdue record books. He ranks eighth all-time in single season ERA (1.78), second in single season fewest hits per nine innings (4.61), and was the team leader in ERA his freshman season.

Johnson says these records are nice, but just simply wants to continue growing as a player.

“Their awesome accomplishments,” he said. “However, I just want to continue to develop as a player, that’s more important to me than any record. I am just trying to get better every day and if records come with that, than that’s fine by me.”

Johnson’s teammate Patrick Smith was just drafted by Kansas City Royals. He hopes to follow in his teammate’s footsteps as Johnson says that’s the ultimate goal.

“Every kid grows up wanting to play in the majors,” he said. “That would be the ultimate goal to play in the major leagues.”