Kupbens, Popkins Receive Preseason Recognition

David Popkins is a two-time All-Big West first team selection. (Wayne Tilcock)

Jan. 12, 2012

DAVIS, Calif. - Left-handed pitcher Anthony Kupbens has been selected as the Big West Conference's preseason Pitcher of the Year by College Sports Madness, it was released on Thursday by the publication.

The website also predicted Kupbens, who recorded a 2.36 earned run average in 2011, to be an All-Big West first team honoree and was joined by teammate David Popkins, who was named a preseason first team selection as a utility player.

College Sports Madness has been previewing the 2011 baseball season and began a countdown of the top 44 teams in the country earlier this week. The site is also in the midst of selecting preseason favorites in each conference, most recently posting their picks for the Big West Conference.

Kupbens pitched three complete games last season and gave up just 27 earned runs in 103 innings of work. He struck out 69 batters, walked just 25 and held batters to a .251 to finish the year with a 5-8 record.

Popkins led UC Davis in batting average (.321) for the second straight year and racked up a team-high 63 hits. His four home runs were also the most of any Aggie player and his 23 RBI also led UC Davis. He also made 13 appearances as a relief pitcher, allowing just three earned runs in 19.2 innings on the mound.

For his performance in 2011, Popkins earned a spot on on the All-Big West Conference first team for the second consecutive season while Kupbens received honorable mention accolades.

The 2012 baseball season begins on Feb. 17 at Dobbins Baseball Complex in Davis with a four-game series against Utah.