LSU baseball dips into transfer portal again to get UCLA left-handed pitcher Gage Jump

UCLA pitcher Gage Jump has committed to transfer to LSU. PHOTO COURTESY: UCLA athletics

LSU baseball’s latest pickup in the NCAA transfer portal is based more on potential than production.

In gaining a commitment from UCLA left-landed pitcher Gage Jump, the national champion Tigers are getting a pitcher that was drafted out of high school and pitched 16.1 innings in his first season with the Bruins. Last year, the 6-foot, 200-pound Jump missed the entire season after Tommy John surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.

Jump’s commitment to LSU coach Jay Johnson was first reported by D1Baseball Kendall Rogers.

He becomes the second UCLA pitcher in as many years to transfer to LSU after starter/reliever Thatcher Hurd signed with the Tigers and was the winning pitcher in the team’s national championship game against Florida.  

LSU has secured commitments from four players in the transfer portal, three of which are pitchers. Joining Jump are left-handed pitcher Justin Loer of Xavier (Ohio), right-handed pitcher Kade Woods of Alabama and shortstop Michael Braswell of South Carolina.

Jump, a native of Aliso Viejo, California, was the No. 1 rated left-handed pitcher in California and No. 5 pitching prospect. He was the No. 43 overall prospect in the MLB draft class out of JSerra Catholic High and was drafted in the 18th round by the San Diego Padres.

Jump decided to attend UCLA where in 2022 he pitched in 22 games with a 1-1 record, two saves and 3.86 earned run average. He allowed 10 hits, seven earned run, 11 walks and 22 strikeouts – leading the team in strikeouts per nine innings at 12.12.

He picked up back-to-back saves on April 1 and 3 in a Pac 12 Conference series against Oregon with three scoreless innings and made his only conference start of the season a week later against Utah. He didn’t again after April 24 because of his injured arm.

Jump pitched a season high five innings with a high of seven strikeouts against Stanford.

Jump played in both the Baseball Factory All-Star Classic in October of 2020 and Area Code Games, a pair of national all-star games.

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