Senior civil engineering major Joe Popielarczyk, a right-handed starting pitcher on the UMass baseball squad, has been named the 2012 Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year. Popielarczyk was also tabbed First Team All-Atlantic 10 and Academic All-Conference. He was recently named one of the two UMass Spring Scholar-Athletes for 2012. Popielarczyk’s microscopic earned run average of 1.24 per game led the Atlantic 10 and ranked third in the nation.
Popielarczyk did all that while maintaining a 3.42 GPA in the demanding civil engineering curriculum while also being accepted by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department as a graduate student for next year. In addition, Popielarczyk was one of 51 players named to the initial watch list for national Pitcher of the Year by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Through 11 starts, he has allowed just 11 earned runs on 64 hits over 79.2 innings of work while building a 6-1 record. He has engineered two combined shutouts and one complete game thus far on the year, limiting opponent batters to just nine extra base hits (eight doubles, one home run) and a .220 batting average. He has logged 62 strikeouts to just 26 walks for a strikeouts-to-walks ratio of 2.4-to-1. (May 2012)