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Oklahoma State baseball: Cowboys' Rob and Donnie Walton coming home to Oral Roberts on Tuesday night

Rob Walton spent 14 seasons as an assistant and head coach at Oral Roberts, with his son Donnie always tagging along, before Rob left to return to OSU. Donnie is now OSU’s starting shortstop.
by John Helsley Published: April 21, 2014

— Rob and Donnie Walton walk back into Oral Roberts University’s J.L. Johnson Stadium Tuesday night.

As the visitors.

This isn’t how it always mapped out for the Oklahoma State father-son tandem. They were always going to be together at ORU, where Rob spent 14 seasons as an assistant and head coach and where Donnie literally grew up.

“It will feel weird, being in the other dugout for sure,” said Rob, who left ORU on good accord a year ago to return to OSU — his alma mater — and to assist Josh Holliday in his makeover project as the Cowboys’ pitching coach.

Rob doesn’t expect it to be all that pleasant, either, with his former assistants Ryan Folmer and Ryan Neill on the other side. Folmer, a former Cowboy himself, is now the head coach.

“It’s tough. Without question, it’s tough,” Rob said. “Ryan Folmer and Ryan Neill were with me for all nine years. They’re good guys. Jose Trevino, who’s in that lineup, is one of the best kids I’ve ever coached; one of the most talented kids I’ve ever coached.

“Yeah, those are good human beings. Those are tough games for me. It’s one of those games, no matter who wins or loses, the food’s not going to taste good after the game, either way.”

Rob also understands all that’s good about the game.

“It’s important to play, because it’s good for each institution to play,” he said. “And then it’s good baseball.

“So you have to take out your own personal feelings about playing and go.”

Donnie, OSU’s sophomore shortstop and two-hole hitter, approaches it a bit differently as an on-field competitor.

Yeah, he admires and respects those coaches and the players he still knows. But there’s something about showing everyone how he’s turned out, too.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “Those coaches over there, they’ve been brothers to me. I can’t wait, because that’s where I grew up, going to the field every day. And to see those teammates … it’s going to be fun.”

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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