Baseball was far from Hunter Wilson’s mind a few months ago.

It was the first fall that the Spiro High School graduate didn’t surround himself with baseball. His focus was on finishing his University of Arkansas degree in sports management and landing a trophy buck during deer season.

Then Oral Roberts started calling. Would he like to become the baseball program’s first graduate transfer? And just like that, his college career continued at his fourth school.

“It’s obviously not the kind of way that you would want it to be pictured, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world, honestly. It’s been an absolute blast,” Wilson said.

Wilson played at Stephen F. Austin out of high school before transferring to Eastern Oklahoma State College. He then moved to Arkansas — where he played in a College World Series – before joining the Golden Eagles.

On Tuesday night, he’ll suit up for a nonconference game against Oklahoma State. First pitch is 6 p.m. at J.L. Johnson Stadium.

Wilson, a second baseman, is hitting .331 and leads the team with 50 hits and 11 stolen bases.

He also has two home runs — one coming during an April 9 game at Arkansas. He said that he nightly played his swing over and over in his head before the game because he knew he’d get an opportunity to play the Razorbacks.

“It was a blast. I never left that place with bad blood. I played there for two years. I got my degree there,” Wilson said. “Me and Coach (Dave) Van Horn are on a good basis. My past teammates, I’m still best friends with them. Fayetteville will always be close to me. I’ll probably be able to take my kids up there and we will still be well known for what we did in 2018 (with a College World Series trip). I’d like to do the same thing at ORU.”

So why did he leave Arkansas? He didn’t want to be a “spot guy” during his fifth year of college.

“I could have stayed at Arkansas and took my gamble and probably had a chance to play every day. I would have had an opportunity and I wasn’t afraid to back down from a fight,” Wilson said. “At the same time, it was my last year and I didn’t think I deserved to fight. I wanted to play. That’s how I landed at ORU and got to play every day.”

A 30-minute recruiting pitch sold him on joining the Golden Eagles. He gained immediate trust in the coaching staff and bonded with an ORU roster which includes a number of Oklahoma players.

“That’s one of the reasons that I wanted to come here because it almost has a junior college feel to it with all the Oklahoma guys on the team,” Wilson said. “It’s been incredible with the opportunity. Here you go, take off with it. I’ve done that for sure. I’ve been able to deal with comfort and play every day and not look over my shoulder and know if I don’t perform today, that would be the end of it.”

Like many college players, he’d love to play professional baseball. If that opportunity doesn’t transpire, he has an alternative plan.

“There’s not a kid out there that wants to shut it down. If that doesn’t work out, I’m not going to finish my grad degree,” he said “I’m going to go back home to Spiro. My dad runs a big operation. We have a cattle ranch and a crop farm. I grew up on that.

“I’m going to be my dad’s right-hand man and live out my life in Spiro and enjoy every bit of it. I’m going to hunt and fish and be with my family.”

Eric Bailey

918-581-8391

eric.bailey@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @ericbaileyTW

Sports Writer

Eric covers the University of Oklahoma football and men’s basketball teams. A Haskell Indian Nations University graduate, he has been a member of the Tulsa World sports staff for 12 years. Phone: 918-581-8391