If you’re an Arizona fan and happened to buy some of Tyler Casagrande’s merch, you no longer have to worry about a possible conflict of interest.
Casagrande, a key reserve and part-time starter in the outfield in 2021, has withdrawn from the NCAA transfer portal and will return to the Wildcats for the 2022 season.
Theres no place like home…lets run it back Wildcat Nation pic.twitter.com/NpSbeHW204— Tyler Casagrande (@tcasa13) July 19, 2021
Casagrande hit .244 with a home run and seven RBI in 39 games including seven starts this past season. The third-year sophomore has played in six of Arizona’s eight postseason games, starting in left field the College World Series opener against Vanderbilt.
Originally from Virginia, Casagrande became a fan favorite because of his last name, which is a town near Tucson (Casa Grande). It’s Spanish for “Big House,” which has become his nickname, so much so that Casagrande used that when college athletes began to be allowed to profit from their name, image or likeness on July 1 he quickly licensed some “Big House” shirts and hoodies.
They only come in Arizona’s red-and-blue combination, which made for a good sign that Casagrande planned to return despite entering his name in the portal after Jay Johnson departed for LSU.
He becomes the second Wildcat to withdraw from the portal and come back to the UA, following left-handed pitcher Garrett Irvin. Seven others have committed to other programs, including three (3B/DH Jacob Berry, LHP Riley Cooper and RHP Bryce Collins) following Johnson to LSU. The others are infielder Kyson Donahue (Hawaii), RHP German Fajardo (Kansas State), RHP Ryan Kysar (San Diego) and 1B/LHP TJ Curd (Jacksonville).
The Wildcats still have nine players in the NCAA transfer portal, not including outfielder Ryan Holgate, who was drafted but has yet to sign. The most notable of those still in there are right-handed pitcher Quinn Flanagan and outfielder Blake Paugh.