TJC pitcher can't match uncle's rocket arm - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

TJC pitcher can't match uncle's rocket arm

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

TJC freshman pitcher Nick Johnson wears No. 22.  He says it runs in the family.  Johnson's uncle happens to be Roger Clemens. The same Roger Clemens that racked up 354 career wins and 4,672 strikeouts.

"I look at him as my uncle," said Johnson.  "Not 'The Rocket.'" 

Uncle and nephew share a number. They do share a nickname.

"He (Johnson) does not throw like 'The Rocket,'" said TJC pitcher Cody Ellerbee.  "Nick's a good buddy of mine and I don't think he'd be opposed to me saying this. On a good day he's throwing 75 mph."

When asked what to call his pitches, Johnson joked, "The Torpedo."

The torpedo first launched in high school.  Without a strong fastball, Johnson went to the side arm, extending his career.

"You see this big six foot three guy and probably think he's throwing gas," said Ellerbee.  "Instead he drops down and throws sidearm. It kind of throws everyone off a little bit."

TJC pitching coach Hart Hering says Johnson plays an important role in the Apaches rotation.

"I felt comfortable working with him because I had experience doing the sidearm thing," said Hering.  "Nick's been a great addition to our staff. Look for some great things from him this year and in the future."

Johnson can't duplicate his uncles rocket arm.  He says he talk with his uncle at least once every two week.  They talk baseball as Johnson looks for any inside advice that can help him become a great pitcher. 

"Understanding the game and what goes into it and all the hard work that goes into it," said Johnson.  "It helps me stay focused and try and get to the point where he was because he (Clemens) provided a good life for his family."

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