Popp earns awards for academics, play on the field

College Baseball

GOLDEN, Colo. – The Colorado School of Mines Baseball team led all of NCAA Division II with three Google Cloud Academic All-Americans as the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) unveiled its 2018 Academic All-America Division II baseball teams.

Joe Popp, son of Laura and Iron Mountain High School graduate Bill Popp of Clarkston, Mich., was among the trio earning Academic All-America honors for the first time. It is the first time in program history with multiple national honorees.

Popp was named to the first team as an outfielder. His first-career honor rests on the laurels of an ABCA/Rawlings second-team all-region selection for his play on the field and 3.94 grade-point average (GPA) as a mechanical engineering major in the classroom.

In 2018, the junior batted .355 with 46 runs and 57 RBI while slugging .583 thanks to 13 doubles, one triple and 11 home runs. Popp also put together a 21-game hitting streak which is tied for the third-longest in program history.

In order to be considered for the Academic All-America squads, a student-athlete must carry a 3.3 or higher GPA as a sophomore or above and be a starter or significant contributor to their team.

As a team, Mines placed five Orediggers on the Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-District squad while going 37-18 on the field and advancing to the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history. The 2018 squad combined to tie or break 23 records with 33 additional entries into the baseball record book.

TAPANI DRAFTED: Ryan Tapani, son of former Major League Baseball pitcher Kevin Tapani, was drafted in the 21st round by the Washington Nationals.

Tapani, a Creighton University star, will report to Florida for practice sessions and an assignment to a minor league team.