Jan. 5, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following in the footsteps of older brothers, University of Notre Dame baseball student-athletes Mac Hudgins and Forrest Johnson have been tabbed 2015 Irish co-captains, head coach Mik Aoki announced Monday.
“Mac and Forrest are both really deserving of being named captain,” said Aoki. “Forrest did a good job for us last year as captain. I think he has grown a lot and has been really reflective in terms of thinking about what he could have done better last year. That experience should serve him well going into this season. Mac is a high-energy guy and his teammates rally around him. He has really grown a lot as a person in our program.
“Both of them have really powerful stories to tell. Forrest’s is well documented, but Mac was in and out of the lineup his first couple of years, even when he was healthy, and the last couple of years he has had to battle through two shoulder injuries unfortunately. He was able to continue to develop as a person and as a player throughout the course of his injuries. Both of those guys have a lot of respect and credibility in our locker room to where when they say certain things during the course of the season, I think they will have a really captive audience.”
Hudgins, whose old brother Will Hudgins was a co-captain in 2012, is a senior from Richmond, Virginia. Last year he was having a breakout year at the plate and in centerfield before a shoulder injury ended his season. Hudgins finished with a .288/.378/.383 split, six doubles, two triples, 10 RBI, eight walks, nine hit by pitch, five stolen bases and 13 runs scored.
“It’s an honor to be chosen by my teammates to represent the University of Notre Dame,” said Hudgins. “I’m excited about the privilege of being a co-captain with Forrest and look forward to this upcoming season with my team.”
Johnson, meanwhile, is the 16th multi-year captain in the program’s 120-year history. His older brother, Cole Johnson, was a quad-captain in 2010. A graduate student in Notre Dame’s MBA program through the Mendoza College of Business, Johnson is from Hudson, Ohio.
After playing in just one inning during his first two years with the Irish program, Johnson has started 85 games and played in 96 total contests during his last two years. Last year, he batted .248 with a homer, four doubles, 15 RBI and 13 runs scored while splitting time at catcher with freshman Ryan Lidge.
“I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to serve as team captain for a second season,” said Johnson. “We have an amazing bunch of guys this year, and it is an absolute honor to once again be nominated by my teammates to lead this group. I am also very lucky to have a great co-captain in Mac Hudgins. We have a shared vision to reestablish Notre Dame as a powerhouse in the game of college baseball, and have full confidence in our team’s ability to do so. I love this University and I love this team, and cannot wait to get one last chance to leave it all out on the field.”
The Irish open the season in 39 days in Norman, Oklahoma, as they meet SIU-Edwardsville at L. Dale Mitchell Park at 2 p.m. on Feb. 13, before kicking off a three-game set with the Oklahoma Sooners later that day at 6 p.m.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director