Six University of Oklahoma baseball players, including all four seniors, were named to the 2016 Academic All-Big 12 First Team by the conference office on Thursday. First Team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better grade-point average.
As a team, the Sooners boasted a program-best 3.27 GPA in the fall 2015 semester; the highest for a men’s sport at Oklahoma. The six First Team selections are the third most for OU baseball; having landed eight on the list in 2015 and a program-record 10 in the inaugural Big 12 season of 1997.
Sooner seniors Hunter Haley(Nacogdoches, Texas), Keaton Hernandez (Palm Springs, Calif.),Shawn Hunter (Fort Supply, Okla.)and Alex Wise (Neosho, Mo.) were joined on the First Team by juniors Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) and Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas).
Hernandez and Hunter, both relief pitchers out of the OU bullpen, will each have earned their degree at the end of this semester. Hernandez, a right-hander, will graduate with a degree in administrative leadership and Hunter, a lefty specialist, with a degree in management.
Haley, a four-year starter in the Oklahoma outfield, was an Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree a year ago. A human relations major, he has been elected one of the team’s series captains in three of the last four weekends even after a season-ending wrist injury suffered on April 22. For his career, he drove in 99 runs, scored 98 and hit 16 home runs with 30 stolen bases.
Wise earns First Team honors while continuing to work towards a degree in management. He is the Sooner leadoff hitter and center fielder; ranking second on the team with a .303 batting average and 12 doubles.
O’Brien, the OU first baseman, is a repeat honoree on the Academic All-Big 12 First Team. A health and exercise science major, he is hitting .269 with 23 RBI on eight doubles and three home runs. Thomas, though only a junior, anticipates on graduating this semester with a degree in management. After taking a year off from baseball to focus on football, the former quarterback is hitting .288 with five home runs and 14 RBI.