After losing Granada Hills (Calif.) lefty commit Chris Murphy to San Diego in the fall, the California baseball team has lost another Southern California arm, this time in the person of right-handed sophomore Jeff Bain, who told BearTerritory that he will transfer and play elsewhere next year, possibly at Pomona.
"Just wasn't the right fit for me," Bain said via text on Friday. "Honestly, it just wasn't working out for me."
Bain -- a big, powerful right-handed arm out of Pasadena (Calif.) San Marino -- was key during the 2015 run to the College Station, Tex., Regional, stepping in for four weeks when ace Daulton Jefferies was on the shelf with injury, going 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 23.1 innings of work.
A 2015 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, Bain went 6-2 with a 2.52 ERA (ninth in the Pac-12) in 17 appearances and struck out 31 batters in 64.1 innings of work. His .215 opposing batting average was fifth in the Pac-12.
As a 2016 sophomore, Bain struggled to regain his form under new pitching coach Thomas Eager, and said that former pitching coach Mike Neu leaving to become the head coach at Pacific was a major factor in his decision.
This season, Bain's previously plus curveball lacked bite, and he had not gotten nearly as much down angle on his fastball, leaving it up in the zone, giving up a team-high six home runs on the season. In 2015, he gave up just one longball. When he gets on top of the ball, he has explosive downward movement, and doesn't give up many extra-base hits -- just 10 in all of 2015.
Bain went 3-3 with a 3.49 ERA and made seven starts in 16 appearances in 2016, allowing a .270 opposing batting average over 49.0 innings of work, with 32 strikeouts to 23 walks and a 1.51 WHIP.
This summer for the Wareham Gatemen in the prestigious Cape Cod League, Bain has a 3.60 ERA in two appearances out of the bullpen, throwing 5.0 innings and giving up five hits and two walks to two strikeouts. He is currently 0-1.
While Bain and Jefferies (picked No. 37 overall in the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics) are leaving, Cal is getting a big weekend arm in Jared Horn, considered the No. 32 overall pro prospect in this year's draft. Horn eschewed the draft, and told BearTerritory that he will be coming to Berkeley. Though he was drafted in the 20th round by the Milwaukee Brewers, Horn indicated that the signing bonus offer would have to be significant, and one source said, "life-changing," for him to walk away from the Bears.