College Baseball: Popp earns All-American academic honor

AUSTIN, Texas – Colorado School of Mines baseball team led all of NCAA Div. II with three Google Cloud Academic All-Americans as the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America unveiled its 2019 Academic All-America Division II Baseball teams.

Joe Popp, son of Iron Mountain High School graduate Bill Popp, and Mikey Gangwish both earned academic All-America honors for the second straight year while Walter Pennington’s nod marks the first of his career.

Popp, named to the first team as an outfielder, was one of six repeat award winners. However, he was just one of two to go two straight years as a first-team academic All-American. The graduating senior earned the honor after being voted Google Cloud first-team academic all-district while also taking home Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) first-team all-academic honors and being named a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper preseason All-American.

His classroom work was highlighted by a 3.95 grade-point average (GPA) as a mechanical engineering major and his acceptance into Cambridge University in England.

On the field, Popp finished 2019 batting .355 with 56 runs and 45 RBI on 21 doubles and nine home runs. The Clarkston, Mich., native closed his career listed 17 times in the Oredigger baseball record book.

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. The nominee must also be voted first-team academic all-district.

As a team, Mines closed the 2019 campaign with an overall record of 40-15 while advancing to its second straight NCAA Tournament.

The Orediggers advanced to the championship game in both the RMAC and NCAA Tournaments after finishing #2 in the RMAC regular-season standings.

Overall, Mines broke or tied 29 program records and made more than 100 additions to the Oredigger record book.

In comparison, the 2018 squad broke 23 records with 33 additions to the record book.