Oklahoma baseball finished the season in disappointing fashion, losing five of its last seven games and ending with a sub.-500 overall record.
The Sooners ended the 2021 season with a 27-28 record, their worst since 2003, but there were some bright spots in an overall gloomy season.
One of those was junior first baseman Tyler Hardman, who this week was named to the Division I All-America First Team by the National College Baseball Writers Association.
Hardman had a terrific season in a not-so-good Oklahoma baseball season. He led the Sooners and the Big 12 with a .397 batting average in 55 games. He collected at least one hit in 47 of the 55 games he played in this season. He hit for the cycle (a single, double, triple and home run in the same game) in OU’s series opener with Arkansas State on March 14.
The Sooner first baseman drove in 49 runs and scored 49 times and finished the season with 89 hits (tied for seventh nationally), 12 home runs, 19 doubles and 148 total bases (12th best among NCAA Division I players). He ended the season with a team-best .481 on-base percentage and a .661 slugging percentage.
In addition to his first-team All-America selection by the NCBWA, Hardman was a finalist for the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award, and a semifinalist for both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy, both of which are awarded to the best collegiate baseball player. He was also an All-Big 12 First-Team selection.
Hardman is the 18th Oklahoma player to be named a first-team All-American in baseball and the first since Sheldon Neuse in 2016.
The 2021 season could be Hardman’s last in an Oklahoma uniform if he decided to turn pro after the annual Major League Baseball Amateur Draft in July.