Former Bangor High School star and University of Maine relief ace Trevor DeLaite is transferring to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The left-hander can play immediately because he will be a graduate student. He will be a scholarship player.
“This is a real good opportunity for my fiancee [Morgan] and me,” DeLaite said. “It is more than a baseball decision. It is a life decision for us.
“This allows us to pursue our faith and, along with the baseball side, it’s a win-win,” he said.
DeLaite and his fiancee are Christians and Liberty is a Christian institution.
DeLaite was a senior at UMaine this year but when the spring season got canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic shortly after it started, seniors were granted another season of eligibility by the NCAA.
DeLaite submitted his name into the NCAA portal, indicating he was exploring other options, and Liberty was one of the schools that reached out to him.
“I was hoping they would reach out,” DeLaite said. “They were a little later than everyone else but they checked off all the boxes.”
DeLaite actually pitched against the Flames a year ago in Lynchburg, allowing one hit and one run in 3 1/3 innings of relief with four walks and four strikeouts. He absorbed the loss in the 3-2 game.
That played a role in his decision.
“Seeing their facility, seeing their talent level, hearing about the reputation of their coach [Scott Jackson]. And their pursuit of God, too. Their values lined up really well with mine,” he said. “That made it a real easy decision.”
He added that his conversations with Jackson and pitching coach Matt Williams went really well.
DeLaite said he was told he will be in the hunt for a spot in the starting rotation.
“I’ve got to earn it. Worst-case scenario, I’ll be in the bullpen and I enjoy the bullpen,” he added.
DeLaite said he also has friends who attend Liberty, such as former Bangor High shortstop and teammate Kyle Stevenson.
UMaine football quarterback Chris Ferguson also is transferring to Liberty and former Black Bears running back Josh Mack is already there.
DeLaite won the John Winkin Mr. Baseball Award and the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year Award in high school but struggled with injuries and his control in his first two seasons at UMaine.
He was moved into the closer’s role in 2019 and flourished, posting a 2.12 earned run average and a team-leading seven saves to go with a 1-2 record. His seven saves tied for second in America East.
DeLaite struck out 41 and walked 10 in 34 innings and opponents batted just .185 against him.
DeLaite has a degree in finance from UMaine and will pursue a master’s degree in business administration at Liberty.