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Arizona catcher Kaden Hopson to transfer to Charlotte

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New coach Chip Hale has managed to convince several key players to pull themselves out of the NCAA transfer portal, but not as many as have opted to play elsewhere.

The latest former Wildcat to find a new school is catcher Kaden Hopson, who has committed to Charlotte for 2022.

Hopson hit .143 in 21 games as a second-year, making three starts in place of Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Daniel Susac. He drove in six runs and was the last position player on the UA roster to strike out in a game when he fanned in a pinch-hit at-bat against Ole Miss in the Super Regionals.

The UA still has two catchers on the roster in Susac and Cameron LaLiberte, who appeared in five games as a true freshman, and two of the players the Wildcats signed in November are catchers. A third, Mesa product Ryan Campos, is instead headed to ASU.

Arizona has now seen eight players from the 2021 squad transfer elsewhere, including three (3B/DH Jacob Berry, LHP Riley Cooper and RHP Bryce Collins) following Jay 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).

At least five Wildcats that were in the portal are coming back to Tucson: LHP Garrett Irvin, OF Tyler Casagrande and Blake Paugh, RHP Quinn Flanagan and utilityman Jacob Shaver.