University of Central Florida right-handed pitcher Jason Bahr is one step closer to playing in Major League Baseball. On Tuesday, the 6-foot-5 Longwood, Florida, native was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the fifth round with the 156th-overall pick.

Bahr posted a 2.97 ERA in 60.2 innings last season. He recorded 98 strikeouts and let up 20 earned runs on 42 hits and seven home runs.

The 22-year-old was also instrumental in helping the Knights win its first conference title since 2004, pitching the last two innings of the game and earning the save.

For Bahr, it’s been an up-and-down battle to where he is now. Before the 2016 season, Bahr was cut from the team by then-head coach Terry Rooney, according to a story by the Orlando Sentinel’s Luis Torres. After being cut by Rooney, Bahr played in the Florida Collegiate Summer League for the then-Altamonte Springs Boom, winning the 2016 Florida League title.

Bahr was then reevaluated by Knights assistant coach Ryan Klosterman before returning to play under first-year UCF head coach Greg Lovelady.

UCF finished the 2017 season with one of its best results. The Knights defeated the University of South Florida for a two-way share of the American Athletic Conference regular-season title, posting a 40-22 (15-9 in AAC) record. UCF also made it to its first regional tournament since 2012.


For more on UCF’s draft picks in this year’s MLB draft, follow Victor Tan on Twitter at @NDR_VictorTan.