PORTSMOUTH — Sometimes, hitting one’s stride can take some work on one’s self.
However, the cliched saying is that it’s not how one starts, but how one finishes that truly matters.
As a student, Cameron Reaman’s grades have always been very solid.
However, as a baseball player, Reaman is far ahead now than where he started — and is well on his way to finishing strong.
“I have had a great time as a student-athlete at SSU,” Reaman said. “Balancing school, baseball, and work isn’t easy, but it’s been rewarding to see how the hard work’s paid off.”
At Clayton Northmont, which sits less than 25 minutes northwest of Dayton, Reaman contributed heavily to a program that went to the Division I district finals as a junior and advanced to the Division I, Region 4 semifinals as a senior.
During the Thunderbolts’ run to the Division I district championship, Reaman stepped up in a huge manner to make that goal a reality for the first time since 2013 from a program standpoint.
Reaman was able to turn an inning-ending double play in the fifth inning by catching a ball in right field and then gunning down a runner who tried to advance home on the fly ball.
Two innings later, Reaman, who moved to the mound, recorded another inning-ending double play — this time, with the bases loaded and one gone — to end the game and keep Clayton Northmont’s season alive with a 2-1 victory over Tecumseh in a Division I sectional final.
“It was a great experience,” Reaman said. “I got the chance to play with my childhood friends, so I had a lot of fun just sharing the bond that we all had, not only with the game of baseball, but in general, with those guys.”
Listed at just 5-9 and 150 pounds, Reaman won coaches over with his ability alone.
With his brother Brandon on the SSU roster at the time, the choice was a relatively easy one considering how much Cameron wanted to play alongside him.
“Playing with Brandon was a great experience,” Reaman said. “He was the reason that I chose to come here. It was nice getting to play with him after watching him play my entire life.”
After initially playing in 2017, Reaman came back to the program in 2020 and to his credit, worked his way into a regular starting spot in the lineup.
A walk-on upon joining the roster, the outfielder and pitcher quickly made an impression and ultimately earned his playing time.
Over his last five appearances on the year, the multi-positional threat posted six RBI and four runs scored at the back end of the order.
“When I decided to come back and walk on, I didn’t really expect to play much,” Reaman said. “It was very rewarding to see all the work pay off and get into the starting lineup.”
On March 3 against Ohio Christian, Reaman posted a game to remember by not only throwing a three-hitter over five-and-a-third innings of work, but aiding his own cause with a second-inning grand slam that led to a 13-2 seven-inning mercy-rule victory.
The left field blast was the first home run that Reaman ever hit.
“That is my favorite baseball memory so far,” Reaman said. “I had never hit a home run in a game before, so it was great that it happened in the way that it did. Getting the win on the mound just put the cherry on top.”
While the season proved to be short-lived due to the coronavirus, Reaman was certainly impressive.
The Dayton native was able to post an .OPS of .847 while posting the fifth-highest batting average on the unit, and tied for the fourth-highest mark on the unit by drawing eight walks.
“It simply feels good to be a part of this team,” Reaman said. “We have a lot of talent. I’m excited for next season. I know that I can count on the guys to get the job done, so that allows me to focus on how I can contribute to the team as much as possible. I feel very confident in the box and on the field knowing the quality of the guys that we have on the roster.”
With his grades well in order as evidenced by his 3.21 GPA, and his baseball dreams panning out in front of him, Reaman has big goals set for the near future — as he should.
“I hope to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education with a minor in sports coaching,” Reaman said. “As for on the field, I just want to be a productive member of a team that’s on the path to a Mid-South Conference championship.”