LINCOLN – The Lincoln Saltdogs added two new players over a busy weekend.
The Lincoln Saltdogs announced between games on Saturday that outfielder Matty Johnson signed with the team. The Saltdogs released outfielder Brendan O’Brien.
Johnson brings seven years of professional experience to Lincoln. Most recently, the outfielder was a mainstay for the Sioux City Explorers. He played in all 100 games in 2015 and hit .264 with two home runs and 38 RBIs. Most remarkably, the outfielder did not commit an error in 239 chances which earned him the American Association Defensive Player of the Year award.
The speedster played in 49 games last season for the X’s and hit .265 with 13 extra-base hits and 21 RBIs. He stole 51 bases in his two seasons in Sioux City.
Before Sioux City, the outfielder spent four seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization. He hit a combined .272 with a .360 on-base percentage. Johnson played in one game for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013.
Johnson played collegiately at Bellevue University in the Omaha metro. He was named an NAIA second team All-American and first team all-conference after his senior season. In his two seasons for the Bruins, he hit .429 and stole 43 bases. Right-handed pitcher Ben McKendall is also a former Bellevue Bruin.
O’Brien played in 11 games for the Saltdogs. The outfielder hit .192 with one RBI and four stolen bases.
The Lincoln Saltdogs announced Monday that left-handed pitcher Carson McPherson signed a contract with the team and made his professional debut Sunday. The Saltdogs released infielder Creighton Wilke.
McPherson comes to the Saltdogs fresh out of Oklahoma Baptist University. The rookie tossed his first professional pitches against the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Saturday. He lasted one inning and gave up one hit and two walks without surrendering a run.
The lefty earned second team National Christian College Athletic Association All-American honors after his senior season. He led the Bison in strikeouts with 91 while compiling an 8-3 record over 72.2 innings. He finished the year with a 3.47 ERA.
McPherson was a part of two no-hitters in 2017. He was part of a staff no-hitter on February 4th against Baker University. He threw his own no-hitter in a 8-0 win over Northwestern Oklahoma State. He allowed one walk in the seven-inning game.
Oklahoma Baptist won the NCCAA World Series championship in 2017. Head Coach Bobby Cox was named NCCAA Coach of the Year for guiding the Bison to their second straight championship.
Wilke played in one game as a defensive replacement. The first baseman went to Lincoln East High School and SCC-Beatrice.
The Saltdogs face the Winnipeg Goldeyes tonight at 6:45 PM. Coverage begins at 6:15 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling (402) 474-2255 or visiting Saltdogs.com. For the latest information on the Saltdogs follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.