Trevor DeLaite enjoyed his four years at the University of Maine and the pitcher felt he developed under the guidance of head coach Nick Derba and his coaching staff.
But the former Bangor High School star left-hander has joined senior teammate Hernen Sardinas in placing his name in the NCAA transfer portal.
DeLaite will be a graduate student at his new school and will be eligible immediately.
Spring sports athletes were granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA after their season was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic. UMaine had played 13 games.
DeLaite hasn’t decided on a destination but said he has talked to seven or eight coaches so far.
“I’m just trying to look for a good situation for me and my fiancee. I’m trying to do what is best for us,” said DeLaite, who is getting married in September.
He said it was a difficult decision to leave.
“UMaine was my home for the last four years. What I learned at Maine has truly made me into who I am today,” DeLaite said.
He appreciates his relationship with Derba.
“He challenged me; I challenged him at times. It was a good situation to learn from,” DeLaite said.
The former recipient of the John Winkin Mr. Baseball Award and Maine Gatorade Player of the Year had a difficult first two years at UMaine. He posted ERAs of 5.96 and 8.61 in his first freshman and sophomore years at UMaine, respectively, and struggled with his control, walking 49 and striking out 48 in 68 2/3 innings.
DeLaite enjoyed a breakthrough 2019 season after being transformed into a closer. He posted a 2.12 ERA and a team-high seven saves, tied for second in America East.
He struck out 41 and walked 10 in 34 innings and opposing hitters batted only .185 against him. He had a 1-2 record.
DeLaite returned to the starting rotation during this shortened season.
“I wanted to get out and experience the world a little more and being able to earn a graduate degree is real important to my future going forward,” DeLaite said.
DeLaite will graduate with a degree in finance and hopes to earn a Master’s in business administration at his new school.
“I just want to win and be able to pitch a lot whether it be as a starter or coming out of the bullpen,” DeLaite said.
He could be drafted when Major League Baseball holds a virtual draft in June but, due to the coronavirus, it will be significantly downsized from 40 rounds to betwee five and 10 rounds.
Derba said he hopes DeLaite and Sardinas, who plans to transfer to Stetson University in Florida, are successful as they move on.
“I wasn’t expecting to have either of them back,” Derba said. “Do I still think their best place is at Maine next year? Yes I do. But it is their decision to make and I want them to succeed. I hope they reach the pinnacle of their dreams and beyond.”