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LMU pitcher Holden Christian to transfer to Arizona

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Managing to convince some of Arizona’s top players to return to the program has been a big part of Chip Hale’s first month on the job. Adding new players to fill out roster holes is also necessary, and the NCAA transfer portal is where he’s found a potentially key piece.

Left-handed pitcher Holden Christian announced Wednesday he has committed to the UA for 2022, giving the Wildcats a much-needed bullpen arm.

Christian spent the past four seasons at Loyola Marymount, where he was used mostly as a reliever. In 2021, he went 3-1 with four saves and sported a stellar 0.97 ERA in 21 appearances, striking out 56 in 37 innings. Left-handed hitters batted just .093 against him with no extra-base hits.

Arizona has to replace at least five of its most-used relievers from the 2021 College World Series team, as righties Preston Price and Vince Vannelle graduated, lefty Gil Luna and Austin Smith were drafted and lefty Riley Cooper transferred to LSU.

Christian is the second player Arizona has landed from the transfer portal, the other being former New Mexico State righty Chris Barraza. The last pitcher to transfer from LMU to UA, righty Tylor Megill, went on to be an 8th-round pick of the New York Mets in 2018 and currently sports a 2.10 ERA in six starts for the big-league club.