May 5, 2021
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Montoro
Oklahoma State's Encarnacion-Strand, Arkansas' Kopps honored
Bookmark and Share

DALLAS (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has named Oklahoma State third baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand the national player of the month and Arkansas reliever Kevin Kopps the national pitcher of the month for April, it was announced on Wednesday.

A native of Pleasant Hill, Calif., Encarnacion-Strand starred for Oklahoma State during April, hitting .458 (27-for-59) with seven homers and 30 RBI in 15 games. He scored 15 runs, had seven doubles and two triples, and sported a 1.542 OPS during the month. During 2021, he has hit .371 with 13 doubles, 15 homers and 52 RBI, stealing three bases.

Kopps, a native of Sugar Land, Texas, had a sparkling month of April in the bullpen for the Razorbacks, top-ranked team in the NCBWA poll. He appeared in nine games for the Hogs in April, with four saves in 22.1 innings, allowing just five walks and striking out 42. On the year, Kopps has a 6-0 record and a 0.85 ERA, striking out 75 and walking only 12 in 42.1 innings. He has six saves, has allowed only 27 hits and a .164 opponent average and surrendered just four runs on the year.

This marks the sixth consecutive year that the NCBWA has honored a player and pitcher of the month. Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official website,

2021 NCBWA Division I Players of the Week:
Week ending Feb. 22: Blayne Jones, Dallas Baptist (Hitter); Jordan Wicks, Kansas State (Pitcher)
Week ending Feb. 28: Dominic Keegan, Vanderbilt (Hitter); Will Dion, McNeese State (Pitcher)
Week ending March 7: Kenyon Yovan, Oregon (Hitter); Ty Madden, Texas (Pitcher)
Week ending March 14: Cade Doughty, LSU (Hitter); Jarrett Whorff, Louisiana Tech (Pitcher)
Week ending March 21: Robby Martin, Florida State (Hitter); Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt (Pitcher)
Week ending March 28: Caden Grice, Clemson (Hitter); Chayce McDermott, Ball State (Pitcher)
Week ending April 4: Adrian Del Castillo, Miami (Hitter); Seth Lonsway, Ohio State (Pitcher)
Week ending April 11: Ivan Melendez, Texas (Hitter); Jonathan Cannon, Georgia (Pitcher)
Week ending April 18: Aaron Beck, Indiana State (Hitter); Alek Jacob, Gonzaga (Pitcher)
Week ending April 25: T.J. Collett, Kentucky (Hitter); Landen Bourassa, San Francisco (Pitcher)
Week ending May 2: Dustin Demeter, Hawaii (Hitter); Tyler Burnham, Seton Hall (Pitcher)
Week ending May 9: Will Frizzell, Texas A&M (Hitter); Justin Campbell, Oklahoma State (Pitcher)
Week ending May 16: Ethan Long, Arizona State (Hitter); Andrew Abbott, Virginia (Pitcher)
Week ending May 23: Cody Littlejohn, Tennessee Tech (Hitter); Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State (Pitcher)

2021 NCBWA Division I Players of the Month:
February: Wes Clarke, South Carolina (Player); Carson Whisenhunt, East Carolina (Pitcher)
March: Tim Elko, Ole Miss (Player); Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt (Pitcher)
April: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Oklahoma State (Player); Kevin Kopps, Arkansas (Pitcher)
May: Jack Rogers, Sam Houston (Player); Kevin Kopps, Arkansas (Pitcher)