After putting together one of the best first seasons in school history, Arizona freshman infielder Jacob Berry announced that he will transfer and follow his head coach Jay Johnson to LSU.
Johnson, who directed Arizona to a 45-18 season, a Pac-12 championship and berth in the College World Series in 2021, was introduced June 24 as LSU’s new baseball coach, succeeding Paul Mainieri who retired.
Berry shared his intentions on Twitter Saturday night:
“Due to recent changes, I am excited to play for Coach Johnson and I’m following him to the SEC. I’m thankful for the ppl and teammates at UA… wishing ya’ll the best! I’m also excited for the opportunity to wear the iconic purple/gold for LSU! #Geauxtigers
LSU confirmed the news with a release Sunday afternoon, acknowledging Berry will start classes at LSU on August 23 where he will be immediately eligible to play as a sophomore next season.
Berry enjoyed a decorated freshman season at Arizona where the 6-foot, 212-pound switch-hitting third/first baseman/designated hitter was named first team All-American by both Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Association.
He was also named Freshman All-American by both news organizations.
Perfect Game/Rawlings and D1 Baseball both selected Berry as a second team All-American. He was also a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and was one of 25 semifinalists for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award.
Berry was one of the nation’s top hitters in his first season and will provide another source of power and run production for LSU which returns freshman All-American Dylan Crews, Tre’ Morgan and sophomore Cade Doughty.
Berry is currently a teammate with Crews on the United States Baseball Collegiate National Team. They were part of Team Stripes in a July 2 exhibition game that ended in a 3-3 tie with Team Stripes.
Berry, a native of Queen Creek, Ariz., led Arizona in home runs (17), RBIs (70), total bases (167), slugging percentage (.676). He was second in batting average (.352), was third in doubles (19) and fourth in on-base percentage (.439).
He compiled 28 multi-hit games and 21 multi-RBI games with highs of four each, including four RBIs in a Super Regional win over Ole Miss. He batted .385 with two homers and six RBIs against the Rebels and helped the Wildcats advance to the CWS where they were eliminated in two games.
Berry, the son of former UL-Lafayette infielder Perry Berry, was the No. 3 rated prospect his senior year in Arizona. He competed in both the Area Code Games and Perfect Game National Showcase in 2019.
Berry is draft eligible after the 2022 season and is a projected first-round pick.