There are some clear differences between identical twins Kevin and Ryan Teschko.
Kevin wears No. 3 for the Gateway baseball team. Ryan wears No. 6.
Also, Kevin is 10 minutes older.
And then there’s … well, there’s …
“Actually, we’re kind of the same person,” Ryan Teschko said.
They have the same look. They have the same haircut. They have the same interests in music, television, food.
They even have the same personality, a mix of competitive fire on the field and irreverence off it.
“They’re pretty much the same person,” Gateway coach Frank Alloway said.
The siblings aren’t exactly the same. Kevin says he’s more of a lefthander except when it comes to baseball, as both brothers bat and throw from the right side.
Both are top pitchers. Both are top hitters. Both are going to the same college, as each will attend Old Dominion on a baseball scholarship.
But 18 years in the same room will finally end when they report this summer to the school in Norfolk, Va.
“We’re definitely not rooming together,” Kevin Teschko said. “I couldn’t live another year with him.”
That lighthearted crack is typical of the Teschkos and typical of the Gators, according to Alloway.
“This is a fun, loose group, and a lot of it comes from them,” Alloway said of the twins. “They love to play; they love to compete in everything. But they have a lot of fun with it and the rest of our team picks up on that.”
Gateway is off to one of the best starts in the history of the program. The Gators are 10-1 after Wednesday’s dramatic, 11-7 victory over Haddon Township.
The Teschsko twins have been front and center in the Gators’ success, with strong work on the mound and at the plate.
Kevin Teschko is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA on the mound. He threw a no-hitter in the season opener against Gloucester. He also is batting .406 with four doubles and a home run.
Ryan Teschko is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA. He struck out 12 in six innings Wednesday but didn’t figure in the decision. He is batting .514 with four doubles and three home runs.
“The best part of this season is that we’re playing with all our friends,” Ryan Teschko said.
The twins originally thought they would attend different colleges. Ryan Teschko was being recruited by Old Dominion before his brother.
“Then we went to this Perfect Game event in Georgia and I was pitching and they started recruiting me, too,” Kevin Teschko said. “They didn’t even know we were twins.”
Of the decision to both attend Old Dominion, Ryan Teschko said, “It’s the perfect place, close to the beach. Our mom and dad are happy we’re going to the same school.”
The Teschkos live in National Park, a small town on the Delaware River in Gloucester County that is part of Gateway’s regional district. The other towns are Wenonah, Woodbury Heights, and Westville.
With Gateway a regional school, its success in sports usually results from the merging of athletes from different towns.
“Everybody likes to play with them,” Alloway said of the Teschkos. “They are always intense. There’s no half-speed with them. But they always are having fun.”
It used to be easy to tell the twins apart. For a while in elementary school, Kevin wore blue and Ryan wore red.
“Red for Ryan,” Kevin Teschko said.
Before that, the twins’ mother often dressed them in identical outfits.
“We’ve just always been together,” Ryan Teschko said. “Same room, all these years.”
The Teschkos have been baseball guys for most of their lives. Their older brother Dan, a 2016 Gateway graduate, scored 1,000 points in basketball, but the twins’ athletic focus has been on the outdoor sport.
They started playing travel baseball for Brooklawn as 12-year-olds and soon joined the All-Out organization for extra training and out-of-state showcase and tournament competition. At Gateway, they’ve been the foundation of the Gators’ development into a Colonial Conference and South Jersey Group 1 power.
“How they roll is how we roll,” Alloway said.
Gateway junior Jackson Kelly, who ended Wednesday’s game with a grand slam, said the Teschkos’ leadership has been key to the Gators’ rise to prominence.
Kelly said the twins sometimes act a little differently off the field. But they never change on it.
“They’re the same,” Kelly said. “They’re always ready to play, always ready to win.”