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High school notebook

Notebook: GR’s Kevin Kopps wins SEC pitcher of the year

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Former George Ranch High School baseball star Kevin Kopps has had a stellar red-shirt senior season with the University of Arkansas.

The Razorback hurler earned the SEC pitcher of the year award.

Kopps is 10-0 with a national best 0.75 ERA in 60.1 innings of work this season, striking out 97 batters while allowing only five runs on the year.

He is the first Arkansas student-athlete to win the league’s Pitcher of the Year award since Nick Schmidt in 2006.

Kopps is 19-5 with a 2.63 ERA in 157 1/3 career innings at Arkansas.

The former Longhorn has collected eight saves during the 2021 season.

Top freshman

JJ Smith a George Ranch product and freshman on one the top softball program in the nation, was named to the Big 12 all-freshman team.

The University of Texas catcher/first baseman wasted little time making her presence known as a freshman at Texas by hitting .385 over 27 games with 10 extra-base hits, including seven doubles, and 13 RBIs while posting a 1.157 OPS.

The Rosenberg native owns three multi-hit and three multi-RBI efforts, including a 3-for-3 game with two doubles and an RBI against Lamar (Feb. 26), a 2-for-3 performance with two doubles and an RBI against Tarleton State and two-RBI efforts in match-ups against No. 15 Louisiana (March 18) and Kansas (April 24).

Smith also blasted solo home runs in wins at Houston (March 3) and against Texas State (April 21).

’Horns up

Two Longhorns on the baseball side were also named honorable mentions to the All-Big 12 team.

Travis’ Trey Faltine and Sugar Land resident Zach Zubia earned the honors.

Faltine batted .243 (41-of-169) with 30 runs scored, 19 extra-base hits and 30 RBIs.

Zubia batted .297 (52-of-175) with 20 extra-base hits and 48 RBIs.

Rookie of the year

Crown College’s Mason Brock was named the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference rookie of the year.

Brock is a Travis High School product.

Crown’s everyday center-fielder, also earned honorable-mention recognition by hitting .348 against conference competition and scoring 27 runs in UMAC play, good for second-best behind teammate Betts.

He ranked in the top-10 of the conference in hits, doubles, runs, triples, home runs, and stolen bases for the season.

All-KCAC honors

Needville resident Deven Lopez had a stellar freshman campaign, earning first team All-KCAC honors.

Lopez finished the season with a total of 109 tackles, averaging 12.1 tackles per game.

The freshman defensive back was a key piece for the Warrior defense, adding five tackle for a loss, five pass breakups, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

The 12.1 tackles per game by Lopez ranks No. 6 in the NAIA.

Follow Fort Bend Herald sports editor Ryan Dunsmore on Twitter at @duns_more for game updates. Follow the Herald sports department on Twitter at @fbheraldsports, Facebook and Instagram at Fort Bend Herald Sports. 

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