Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — For as long as they can remember, baseball has played a huge part in Cameron and Carson DeBord’s lives.
The game was the set of twins’ first love, it continues to give them an opportunity to get better on a day-to-day basis and, because of the work they’ve put in, success has followed their every move on the diamond.
Or their front yard.
Whatever can serve as a backdrop to play a game of catch, count them in.
“Baseball is my favorite sport because i’ve just grown up playing it. My dad loves the game and it’s the same with my uncle,” Cameron said. “I think I got it from them. My older brother always took us out in the front yard and hit ground balls to us whenever he could.”
“I grew up watching it and that’s what I’ve always loved,” Carson said. “Cameron and I were always outside playing wiffle ball or throwing baseball with each other, and hitting to each other in our front yard. I always have fun when I’m out there.”
Those ground balls and wiffleball games at a young age are now paying dividends.
This season, the two sophomores have led Unioto to a 15-7 overall record with a 10-4 mark in the Scioto Valley Conference. Carson has hung his hat on hitting while Cam has been dominant on the bump.
“So far this season, I feel like I’ve become better at the plate and knowing which pitches I can hit and hold off on in certain parts of the count,” Carson said. “I know I can still work on my hitting in many areas, and be smarter in certain situations. I also need to work on my defense a bit more to be a little more solid.”
Carson sports a .425 batting average (31-for-73) alongside six doubles, 21 runs scored and 16 RBIs. Cameron isn’t too far behind, hitting .361 (26-for-72) with 23 runs and eight RBIs at the top of the lineup.
On the hill, Cameron has been lights out. The crafty lefty stand at 7-2 and has tossed 39 ⅓ innings, striking out 49 and logging an ERA of 1.25.
“This season, I’ve felt like I’ve played good. I still think I have way more potential than what I’ve shown so far. My pitching has surprised me and I’ve had great games, even without my control and command,” Cameron said. “If I could work on that more, I’d love to see what I can do. As far as hitting, I just need to get my confidence back.”
The twins have had fun putting up those numbers … of course, they have fun anytime they step foot in between the lines. But it’s especially unique for them to do it together while getting the chance to help each other through the game’s many ups and many downs.
“I’ve always had fun when we are playing together. He helps me with certain things I can work on and lets me know what I should do to get better,” Carson said. “It’s just normal playing with him because we have all our life.”
Cameron echoed those sentiments.
“Playing my favorite sport with my brother is awesome,” he said. “We tell each other what we need to work on and that’s something not many players can have, so I think that’s pretty cool. Also, we always have each other’s back no matter what. We can count on each other.”
The DeBords are just one set of twins on a roster that coach Tony Taylor should get an award for navigating through. Unioto has two sets of non-identical twins — Carson and Cam, as well as Jeremy and Josh Lambert — and one set of identical twins in James and Jason Shuman.
And, for good measure, on the program’s JV roster are twins Josh and Jacob Rose, who are non-identical.
The DeBords are hoping those family genes — as well as other contributors such as Hayden Longcoy, Connor McCloy, Nate Keiser, etc. — can help them lead the Shermans on a lengthy postseason run.
“I feel like we can go pretty far in the tournament,” Carson said. “We have enough pitching and our defense is solid. If we can start putting hits and runs together, I think we can win.”
Last spring, Unioto saw its season end in a Division II regional semifinal at the hands of Circleville by a 4-0 final. The goal this season is to get back to that level, and advance.
Unioto will start its tournament run at 5 p.m. Monday against Jackson or Warren in a Division II sectional championship.
“My expectations heading into tournament play are pretty high. I believe we can make it far in this tourney,” Cameron said. “We have a talented team and if we stay together and have each other’s backs, we’ll be fine. Our pitching and overall defense is very good in my opinion. If we can add our bats to the mix, we’ll be a very tough team to beat.”