Elite sophomore Bryce Rainer of Harvard-Westlake High won’t pitch this season

Bryce Rainer gets ready to pitch for Harvard-Westlake.
Bryce Rainer of Harvard-Westlake went 9-0 last season on the mound as a freshman but he won’t pitch this season.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

When Harvard-Westlake High won the Southern Section Division 1 baseball championship last season, freshman pitcher Bryce Rainer made a huge contribution on the mound, going 9-0.

Coach Jared Halpert said Wednesday that in an effort to protect Rainer’s future as a pitcher, he won’t take the mound this season. A 6-feet-4 left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower, Rainer will play outfield.

Rainer, who made a verbal commitment to UCLA before his freshman year, throws 94 mph. Halpert said he made the decision in consultation with Rainer’s parents.


“Bryce will not throw a pitch from the mound this season,” Halpert said. “He’s still growing. I got to do my job. He’s trusting our decision. His arm is fine.”

Another Harvard-Westlake sophomore pitcher, Duncan Marsten, probably won’t pitch until midseason. Marsten, who has committed to Stanford, missed last season with an injury. Halpert insisted the Wolverines still have “plenty of firepower” on the mound, led by sophomore Thomas Bridges.

Southern Section high school sports officials would get a raise based on hours they work as part of an effort to stem a shortage in the Southland.

Jan. 31, 2022