Senior Spotlight: Before heading to Pitt, Seton LaSalle senior goes out on top as WPIAL champ

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Monday, May 25, 2020 | 8:00 AM


Baseball has been a fixture in Dom Popa’s life since he was a little kid, and even though he had his senior year taken away from him, baseball won’t be leaving his life any time soon.

Last summer, Popa committed to continuing his baseball career at Pitt, following in the footsteps of his dad and his older brother Nico, who was one of the ACC’s top hitters last year with a .353 average.

The younger Popa said the two brothers haven’t played together since he was about 4 years old. So, he’s looking forward to playing with him again and possibly sharing the outfield together.

“Being able to play together next year is kind of crazy to think about,” Popa said. “It’s definitely going to be really cool. We’re excited.”

The fact that Popa will be joining his brother at the next level doesn’t take the sting away from what he was hoping to accomplish this season.

Seton LaSalle was coming off a WPIAL championship season in which Popa hit .470 with a team-high 31 hits in addition to 21 RBIs. Popa and the Rebels weren’t just thinking about another WPIAL title this year either. After only losing four seniors, they thought they could take it one step further.

“We were very excited. We were working to get back to the WPIAL championship again, but our ultimate goal was a state championship,” Popa said. “We were hoping to get the first state championship for Seton LaSalle.”

Although it didn’t happen in his final high school season, Popa will still be able to say that he went out on top as a WPIAL champion.

“For us to go out on top, it makes it a little easier for us not having a season,” Popa said. “But we were definitely looking forward to get out there this year, so it still stings a little.”

What’s your favorite memory while playing baseball for Seton LaSalle?

The WPIAL championship and that whole playoff run.

Who is the one pitcher you want to face?

Clayton Kershaw.

If you could change positions, where would you play?

Probably infield if I was a righty because I’ve always wondered what it would be like because I’ve never gotten the chance because I’m a lefty.

What’s a day during quarantine look like?

When I was in school, I would wake up, eat breakfast, do my schoolwork, then I’d go work out with my brother. We’d do our running, lifting, and agility stuff then we’d go hit. Then after that, we’d eat dinner, watch a show on Netflix and go to bed.

Have you picked up any new hobbies?

I’ve just been watching a lot more movies, which I didn’t really do before the quarantine.

What’s your favorite sports memory as a fan?

The 2013 Pirates wild card game

What made you want to choose Pitt?

For me, it wasn’t that hard of a decision. Playing for my hometown team, I’ve been a Pitt fan my whole life, playing in the ACC. For me, there was nothing better than that.

What will your major be?

Something in business

If you could switch places with anyone in the world, who would it be?

Mike Trout

If you could choose anyone to give the commencement speech at your graduation, who would it be?

Bronson Przybilinski. He was one of my football coaches when I was playing in high school.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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