It's All in the Family

In baseball, genetics are a funny thing, and that's especially true for two Sooners this year.

Corner infielders Garrett Buechele, third base, and Cameron Seitzer, first base, are living the life that their fathers carved out for them years back.

Steve Buechele, Garrett's father, played here at the same pinnacle of college baseball that Garrett will this year.

The elder Buechele started at second base for the Stanford Cardinal in the 1982 College World Series playing against, ironically, South Carolina in the opening game, which turned into a lopsided 15-4 victory.

Steve hit 3-for-5 in that contest.

From that point, he went on to play third for the Texas Rangers, finishing with 137 home runs, 547 RBIs and a .971 career fielding percentage, ranking 12th in the organization in games played at 889 and 16th in at-bats, with 2,723 career AB's.

He now serves as the manager for the Frisco Roughriders, the double-A affiliate of the Rangers.

Seitzer has a similar background.

His father, Kevin, played infield for Eastern Illinois University before getting drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1983, where he became a special player in the following years.

In 1987, he tied the Major League Baseball record with 207 hits in a season, making it to the All-Star Game in that season.

He later did that again for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1996.

Kevin currently serves as the hitting coach for the Royals.

So now it's time for the sons to shine.

And shine they have so far.

Entering this weekend's College World Series, Buechele leads the club in home runs at 16, with Seitzer right behind at 15.

Buechele, although he's been in a bit of a slump, has hit .371 throughout the year, while Seitzer is at .311.

Although a lot of the success is hereditary, much of it falls on Steve and Kevin's parenting and coaching up of their kids as well.

"We've been asked a lot of questions about Cam Seitzer and Garrett Buechele with their dads, with the success they had and both coaching professionally now," said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. "I've always said that those guys are deserving of an awful lot of credit. You're talking about people that know the game of baseball. I realize that since we all played little league, [it] seems like everybody's an expert, but these guys might be. And you know what, they've done a great job."

Especially in terms of support, they've done an exceptional job.

"I'm very proud of Steve and Kevin, how they've supported not only their own son, but all the student-athletes," Golloway said. "When they've come around, they've just been one of the guys. It's been a lot of fun and they've allowed their sons to be college student-athletes. They've done it the right way."

And so have the two Sooner stars themselves.

"It wasn't always easy for those guys," Golloway said. "They earned it. They came in. They weren't given anything. So I just think that that's a great example for others down the road of the right way to do it.

"And they're the two student-athletes that have been nothing but terrific. I mean, those guys are very loved by their teammates and they're just one of the guys and they don't think they expect anything more than anybody else just because of the name on their back."

It's good to know for Sooner fans that what's come around in those families with Steve and Kevin came back around again in the form of two hard-working, tough-minded players like Garrett and Cameron.

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