OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Two of Skip Johnson’s pupils did him proud on the same night.
A couple hours after Chad Hollingsworth held UC Irvine to four hits in a win Wednesday that kept Texas alive in the College World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw finished the first no-hitter of his career against the Colorado Rockies.
“I think that probably was one of his best days in a while,” Hollingsworth said Thursday, referring to the Longhorns’ pitching coach.
Kershaw began taking pitching lessons from Johnson when he was a high school senior in Dallas, and he continues to work with Johnson in Austin each offseason.
Kershaw signed a $215 million, seven-year contract this past offseason. He pays Johnson nothing for his services. Johnson probably wouldn’t accept money from Kershaw even if he offered.
“Coach (Augie) Garrido says it best,” Johnson said, “that what you’re in it for is the relationships, and you see that you played a part in his life — a structured plan that I’ve set him with, and God did the rest. His ability is God-given, and his humility is above and beyond.”
Hollingsworth said he sees Kershaw around the Longhorns’ baseball facilities often and appreciates that Johnson treats every pitcher the same, be it Kershaw or a freshman.
“He’s going to work just as hard with you as he does with Kershaw,” Hollingsworth said. “It’s nice to see that. He doesn’t give up on any guy.”
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