The Bellingham Bells are excited to announce the addition of three 2018 high school graduates to this summer's roster.
UCLA commits Nick Nastrini, Jesse Bergin and Matt McLain will be heading to Bellingham before they head to Los Angeles in the fall.
Matt McLain is a five-foot-eleven-inch middle infielder out of Arnold O. Beckman High School in Tustin, Calif. McLain, the reigning Pacific Coast League player of the year, has been a regular starter since his freshmen year and is gearing up for a big senior year.
As a junior, McLain was named All-CIF Division 3, helping lead Beckman to a 24-6 record and an appearance in the CIF semifinal game.
Perfect Game also named McLain to the 2017 Underclassmen Second Team.
"Matt McLain is an outstanding player,” pitching coach Jim Clem said. “We are excited to have Matt coming to Bellingham. Both his offensive and defensive skills, will really help our team. Matt is a middle infielder, and we expect to play him there, but his versatility allows him to play just about anywhere on the infield. Matt is fast, strong, and highly competitive. He is an accomplished hitter who also has some pop in his bat. Matt is also a tremendous young man, who we believe will really fit well in the Bells clubhouse."
Joining McLain in Bellingham will be fellow UCLA commit pitcher Jesse Bergin.
Bergin is a six-foot-three-inch right-hander out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, Calif.
He is ranked No. 59 by Perfect Game in the state of California and No. 400 out of the top 500 high school players in the country.
As a sophomore in 2016, Bergin dominated the mound going 9-3 with 1.30 ERA and 50 strikeouts.
Bergin also threw a four-hit shutout to lead his team to the DIvision I championship game.
"Jesse Bergin is a big RHP, with exceptional pitchability,” Clem said. “No question that we expect Jesse will be a key pitcher on our staff this summer. He hails from Harvard Westlake, which is known for having a great program. Jesse has a live fastball, with a very good slider and change-up to go with it. Just as impressive is that Jesse is a strike-thrower with a great competitive spirit. Jesse is a high character individual. We are very excited to have Jesse on the Bells this summer.”
The final Bruins recruit that will be joining the Bells this summer is Nick Nastrini.
Nastrini is a six-foot-two-inch right-hander out of San Diego, Calif.
Nastrini is ranked No. 187 by Perfect game as one of the top 500 high school players in the nation and he is also ranked No. 27 in the state of California.
"Nick Nastrini is also a big RHP, who has terrific stuff,” Clem said. “His fastball is exceptional and his secondary pitches are very impressive as well, particularly his curve-ball and change-up. Nick has already competed at a high level, including pitching on his Area Codes team. He is an impressive young pitcher. We also understand Nick is a high character guy, one that will fit great in our clubhouse. No question, Nick will be a great help to our team."
In his junior season at Cathedral Catholic High School, Nastrini went 5-1 with a 0.98 ERA while striking out 37.
The Bells open the regular season on June 1 in Kelowna against the Falcons.