When asked why he chose to come to LSU, left-handed pitcher Gage Jump has a simple answer: “I just wanted to be in the SEC.”
Jump is a transfer from UCLA who missed the entirety of the 2023 season due to a UCL injury. Coming out of high school he was ranked as the No. 1 pitcher in the state of California. He pitched 16.1 innings in seven appearances for the Bruins as a true freshman and posted a 1-1 record with a 3.86 ERA with 22 strikeouts.
Jump throws four pitches: a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. He described himself as an aggressive pitcher who likes to “suffocate” the zone and put pressure on hitters.
Jump’s brother, Hunter, went to Kentucky for his fifth year after spending time in the PAC-12 at Arizona State. His brother convinced him that the SEC was “the real deal” and that he should play there.
Joining LSU was an easy decision for Jump. He was recruited by Jay Johnson during Johnson’s time at Arizona and that connection helped him decide to be a Tiger.
“Coach Johnson, I’ve known him since high school,” Jump said. “LSU, it’s the best place in the world to play baseball, so I was super pumped to be able to be here.”
Watching LSU play in Omaha also helped Jump decide to join the Tigers.
“I’ve always wanted to play in Omaha,” Jump said. “I’ve always wanted to play in a super regional. It really clicked and I got really fired up and I just wanted to play here.”
Jump said his recovery from his injury is going well and he isn’t worried about any rust from being out for so long. He has quickly impressed his teammates with Tommy White describing him as the toughest pitcher he’s had to face this offseason.
“Now that I’m able to pitch, it’s go time,” Jump said. “I’m super excited. It’s been a long journey, but I’m really happy to be wearing this jersey and be in Alex Box Stadium.”
Jump is one of two transfers expected to come in and contribute for LSU’s pitching staff, along with Luke Holman from Alabama. He also joins freshmen Kade Anderson and Cam Johnson as the newcomers to the pitching rotation at LSU.
“I’m really excited to be pitching with the talent we have on this team, and I’m really excited for this season,” Jump said.