Former Eastern Kentucky University baseball player Will Johnson signed a professional contract this week to play for the Westside Wooly Mammoths in the independent United Shore Professional Baseball League.
Johnson is the eighth EKU baseball player to sign a professional contract over the past four seasons. Since 2016, 27 players from the USPBL have signed with Major League Baseball affiliated teams.
The four-team United Shore League is based in Michigan. All games are played at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, Michigan. The Mammoths’ season began on May 11.
Johnson made his debut on Wednesday and went 3-for-5 with a grand slam, three runs scored and four RBIs. His third inning grand slam turned a one-run lead into a 6-1 advantage for the Wooly Mammoths. Westside went on to win 15-4 over the Eastside Diamond Hoppers.
Former Colonel Bryan Quillens is also a member of the Wooly Mammoths. Other former Colonels playing professional baseball include Mandy Alvarez (Trenton Thunder, AA, New York Yankees), Alex Holderbach (Quad Cities River Bandits, A, Houston Astros) and Christian Friedrich (New Britain Bees, Independent Atlantic League).
Johnson, a 6-foot-2 right-handed outfielder, completed his college career this past season. He earned second team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors and set a new EKU single season record with 56 walks in 2019. Johnson hit .303 with 59 runs, 13 doubles, 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and 28 stolen bases
The Atlanta, Georgia native led the conference in walks and stolen bases, tied for third in home runs, was fourth in runs scored, fifth in slugging (.593) and sixth in total bases (137). He ranked 15th in the nation in walks, 25th in stolen bases, 39th in home runs, 65th in total bases and 65th in runs.
Johnson went 3-for-4 with a run, the game-tying home run in the eighth inning and three RBIs in the opening round of the OVC Tournament against Morehead State (May 22).
Assistant Athletics Director for Communications & Branding