For Borns, baseball fit like a glove
Rick O’Brien, Inquirer Columnist
Posted: Saturday, April 19, 2014, 1:08 AM
In addition to baseball, soccer was a mainstay pursuit for the Born twins, Andrew and Steve, in their younger years.
With encouragement from friends and clearance from their parents, the tight-knit duo decided to leave their comfort zone and give football a shot as freshmen at Conestoga.
Andrew Born’s stint as a linebacker lasted all of two games, cut short by a torn meniscus. Steve Born, a wide receiver, completed the season but agreed with his brother that they should focus on their true love.
“I think we’ve always had a passion for playing baseball,” Steve Born said. “Early on, our dad [Scott, a former player at Upper Merion] kind of pushed us in that direction. When that happened, it stuck.”
With Andrew and Steve Born contributing as solid outfielders and red-hot hitters, talent-filled Conestoga is 7-2 overall, 6-2 in the Central League, and ranked No. 4 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer.
Andrew, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound rightfielder and No. 5 hitter, is older than Steve, a 5-10, 175-pound centerfielder and leadoff man, by a minute.
“People get us mixed up all the time, even our closest friends,” Andrew Born said. “We’re used to it by now.”
When they were younger, to lessen the confusion, their mother, Meg, would dress Andrew in red. Steve would be in a similar outfit, but in blue.
One of the results from that? Andrew became a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, and Steve developed a liking for the Chicago Cubs. Thursday night, the two were in Washington and watched the Cardinals blank the Nationals, 8-0.
The Borns agree that, as twins, they share a deep bond and have natural instincts for how the other is feeling.
“I can just look at Steve and know what’s going on with him,” Andrew Born said. “It’s the same way for him. He knows how my day is going without having to ask me.”
Steve Born will continue playing baseball at the Naval Academy. A first-team all-Central League selection last season, he is batting a team-high .516 with 11 runs, 10 RBIs, 4 stolen bases, and 3 doubles through nine games.
Andrew Born, a Davidson recruit who began his varsity career at second base, is hitting .435 with eight runs, five stolen bases, and four RBIs.
“They’re both outstanding young men, have great work habits,” Conestoga coach John Vogan said. “The success they’ve had is due to all the time they’ve put in to getting better.”
Andrew and Steve Born often go into the backyard of their family’s Strafford home, to take hacks in a batting cage.
“One of the good things is you always have someone to hit or play catch with,” Steve Born said. “And there’s a healthy rivalry there. We push each other. You want to be as good as your brother.”
For the last two years, the Borns – who both throw righthanded and bat lefthanded – have honed their skills while playing for Mike Manning’s All-Star Baseball Academy.
Off the diamond, as part of Wayne Presbyterian Church’s youth group, they do volunteer work in the community.
“Our parents are very involved in the church,” Andrew Born said. “I guess we picked up on their lead.”
Soon, the twins will split, with Andrew leaving for Davidson, in North Carolina, and Steve heading to Annapolis, Md. Both are thinking of majoring in political science.
“I definitely want to serve my country,” Steve Born said. “It will give me a real purpose in life.”
In their first year at Conestoga, the Borns were varsity call-ups in the run to State College and a PIAA Class AAAA state championship. They were used as pinch-runners down the stretch.
“It’s a goal to get back there and win again,” Andrew Born said. “But you can’t look ahead. You have to take it one game at a time.”