Tigers hit the transfer portal for big left-handed pitcher

As the Tigers continue to battle for a National Championship at the College World Series in Omaha, LSU coach Jay Johnson has struck yet again in the Transfer Portal.

On Monday afternoon, left-handed pitcher Justin Loer, formally of Xavier University announced his intentions to transfer to Baton Rouge. The 6-5, 204-pound Lakeville, Minnesota native made 44 appearances in two seasons for the Musketeers, going 8-3 with a 2.43 ERA.

(self scouting report) “You are going to see a high spin fastball, but mostly a sinker-heavy guy,” he said. “When it comes to the hard stuff, you are looking at anywhere from 90-93 mph. I’ve got a three-pitch mix and am working on a four-pitch mix for 2024, but I have a wipe out slider. I’m really tough on lefties. 

“I’m a very emotional player. When I get a big strikeout, I’m going to yell and scream about it. I’m going to bring that to Baton Rouge.”

In 81.1 innings of work he allowed 23 runs on 60 hits, striking out 81 and walking 33. Loer mainly came out of the bullpen for Xavier, only starting four games of his 44 appearances. He has two years of eligibility left

“I love the outdoors,” he said. “I’m a big hunting and fishing guy. I’ve been told Louisiana is the Sportsman’s Paradise. I’m really looking forward to connecting with some fans doing that and I’m a big waterfowl hunter. I need to learn some of the best spots from the fans. 

“The fans are just amazing. I was coming down on my visit and was on the plane with this lady who was just so nice and welcoming. The lady from the plane was commenting on my tweet when I committed. Baton Rouge is a very welcoming community and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of it.”

Getting the opportunity to come down and be in the stands for LSU’s Super Regional victory over Kentucky, Loer was blown away by the atmosphere at Alex Box Stadium. 

“I’ve never seen fans more engaged with the game,” he said. “They are reacting to every pitch and letting the umpires hear about it when they don't like a call. How engaged the fans were was something that just really stood out for me.”
With Paul Skenes being projected as the possible top pick in the upcoming Major League Draft, Loer said he was promised the opportunity to compete for a spot in the 2024 starting rotation for LSU. 

“I know nothing is going to be handed to me but I’m hoping for the opportunity to come in and be in the starting rotation,” he said. “I know I’m going to have to earn it. I know I closed at Xavier this past year, but my main goal is to start for LSU in 2024.”

Loer said he made his decision to come to LSU while already knowing pitching coach Wes Johnson would be headed to Georgia to take the head coaching position in Athens. 

“(Jay Johnson) and recruiting coordinator Josh Jordan are just incredible human beings,” he said. “Great connections and the trust that they are not going to just tell me things to get me to come there. They are genuine. I trust that (Jay Johnson) is going to find a pitching coach that will be one of the best in the business. He told me that and I trust that.”

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