A woman’s faint voice echoed across Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium from the first baseline bleachers.

“Let’s go, JMU!”

Evan Johnson stiffened his back. Perched behind home plate, donning a cream-colored Maryland jersey with a cursive red logo sprawled across the chest, he retaliated.

“Let’s go, Maryland!”

It was only the third batter of a cold, early-March nonconference game. But Johnson had to take command of what he calls his ballpark.

“You’re not out-yelling me,” Johnson said. “That’s not going to happen.”

He was the only one bellowing the chant in the sparsely-filled stadium. But the surrounding Maryland fans clapped to the beat of his roar.

The 26-year-old Bowie native tries to attend as many Maryland baseball games as possible. He grew up a fan of Washington’s professional teams, but intensified his support for Terps baseball in recent seasons. The team has even recognized his energy.

“We love him a lot,” junior outfielder Elijah Lambros said.

In a stadium that seats fewer than 3,000 without a jumbotron, Johnson strives to establish a home-field advantage with his conglomerate of dances and cheers. He knows his antics draw attention. Johnson doesn’t mind.

He grips his Aquafina bottle to his face as the PA speaker funnels music between innings. It serves as a microphone. Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium is Johnson’s stage.

[Maryland baseball routs Georgetown, 11-4, behind 4 home runs]

Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” rang in the middle of the eighth inning against James Madison. Johnson paraded down the aisle, waving his right arm and clutching the water bottle. He weaved through the red bleachers while belting the chorus, his head raised to the sky.

“That’s the type of energy we need,” freshman outfielder Jordan Crosland said.

Evan Johnson cheers during Maryland baseball’s 8-3 win over Bryant on March 1, 2024. (Alexa Yang/The Diamondback)

Johnson’s first sports memory was watching the Nationals at RFK Stadium with his father during the team’s inaugural season in Washington, D.C., in 2005. His dad took him to watch the Astros’ Roger Clemens, but the then-8-year-old wanted to root for the home team. Johnson has since become a supporter of every local team.

He realized that he didn’t want to only observe calmly once he began purchasing his own tickets. That’s when he let his personality shine.

“I can’t just sit here quietly the whole game,” Johnson recalled thinking. “I’m going to get into it.”

Johnson’s Terps fandom started in the late 2000s while watching men’s basketball stars like Greivis Vasquez and D.J. Strawberry.

His love of Maryland escalated in 2021 during the Major League Baseball lockout. Unable to watch his beloved Nationals, Johnson turned to college baseball.

Johnson watched the Terps host their first NCAA Regional in 2022. He also saw Maryland’s season-ending loss to UConn in the regional. He returned to his Nissan Altima “livid” after a controversial eighth-inning call that erased a pivotal Maryland run — one he still insists was incorrect.

“That is another level of frustration,” Johnson said.

[Brayden Martin’s walk-off pushes Maryland baseball to 5-4 win over Michigan State]

Maryland has rewarded Johnson for his enthusiasm. This season, he received free tickets to every home game.

During a game last season against Georgetown, Johnson sat at his usual post when former equipment manager Ron Ohringer approached him.

Ohringer opened a large shopping bag and lifted out the cream-colored Terps jersey. It was a gift from the team, he told Johnson.

The Terps peered through the home plate netting as Johnson slung the apparel over his black Maryland hoodie. The dugout erupted when he put it on. It’s now his uniform for Terps games.

“I pulled it out and it was the sickest jersey I have ever seen,” Johnson said. “My next thought was OK, is this my size?”

Johnson’s fierce fandom earned him a job with the minor league club Bowie Baysox. In March 2023, the fan auditioned to be the team’s in-game host against dozens of other candidates.

With his “entire heart and soul,” he aced the audition and earned the role. It’s been his job since.

Johnson roams around the 10,000-seat Prince George’s Stadium donning an orange bucket hat and Baysox jersey. He speaks to the crowd between innings and leads trivia, races and other in-game activities.

Even when he’s not on the microphone, the emcee energizes the crowd with his booming voice to ensure engagement.

“He just seems like he’s always in character,” Adam Pohl, the Baysox’ marketing director, said. “He’s making people have a good time and get more involved in the game.”

Evan Johnson yells at a Bowie Baysox game. (Photo courtesy of Joe Noyes)

Johnson brings the same crowd-engaging techniques to Maryland, even when the Terps trail.

He turned to the lulling crowd late in Maryland’s 5-2 loss to Michigan State. Johnson charged up and down his aisle, flailing his arms, hoping to spark a comeback.

His gray shorts moved with the breeze while spectators huddled in their winter coats. The constant movement keeps him warm, Johnson said.

Johnson cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted at the crowd.

“College Park, make some noise. I can’t hear you!”

The yelling, the chanting, the dancing are about establishing an advantage. It’s one he hopes continues on days he isn’t at the ballpark.

Johnson said he’s not seeking attention for himself. It’s for his team.