KENNEWICK — Monica Jackson still remembers that day seven years ago when the last thing in the world she wanted to be recognized for was being the mother of her twin terrors.
It was one of the very rare occasions when Ty and Bryce Jackson were playing on different baseball teams -- Ty hitting, Bryce pitching. And it did not end well -- or so it appeared.
"Bryce pegged me in the head," Ty recounted. "The umpire asked me if I wanted to go to first base or charge the mound. I wanted to charge the mound.
"I tackled him. It was once in a lifetime."
"The one time we didn't play together," Bryce said laughing. "It didn't turn out well."
Their mother, of course, was mortified.
"Oh my god! Those are not my children," Monica thought. "Those are not my kids. Total shock -- no, no, no.
"I thought it was serious at first until they started wrestling and it was funny."
These days, Monica and her husband Greg are only too happy to be known as parents as Southridge baseball games.
Ty and Bryce -- twins who both pitch and play first base -- are a big part of the reason why the Suns (18-2) are expected to be in the mix for the 3A state title. They open the postseason at 4 p.m. today at home with a sub-regional game against either Kamiakin or Mount Spokane.
Ty finished second in the CBBN 3A with a .532 batting average, with four home runs and a league-high 34 RBIs. Bryce hit .476 (10th in the league) and drove in 25 runs (seventh).
On the mound, Bryce finished 4-1 with a 2.22 ERA (third in the league) and 30 strikeouts in 41 innings for the 18-2 Suns. Ty went 6-0 with a 2.76 ERA (sixth in the league) as a combination starter and reliever.
Looking at the brothers -- Ty is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds; Bryce 6-3 and 215 -- and at how easily the game seems to come to them, one can picture them being born with bat and glove already in hand.
But baseball -- sports of any kind, really -- was something they learned as they grew up.
"I look back, and I remember watching those kids down at the Little League fields," said Suns coach Tim Sanders. "They ran around the yard, they were pudgy little kids, underdeveloped, but they tried to emulate the other kids. And if you looked, their swings were always as good. They were modeling their behavior on other kids around them, from watching TV.
"They got the baseball bug."
And to this day they feel its bite.
"They are absolute baseball junkies," their coach said. "It's what they do. ... They got a smile on their face when they come to the yard. They love baseball, and they'll do anything to play it."
Both are left handed, though Ty both throws and hits righty, a product of mimicking older brother Alden when they first started.
It wasn't until they were a few years into the game that a coached noticed Bryce was having trouble throwing right-handed. Monica bought him a lefty glove, and it clicked right away. Bryce's hitting, however, came around only with a lot of work with one of their youth coaches, Terry Tanneberg.
"I give a huge thank you to him," Bryce said.
Almost the entire Southridge team has been playing together much of their lives. Many of them were on the Cal Ripken World Series team as 12-year-olds, on the Babe Ruth series team the next year. Two summers ago, this group won regionals with the Kennewick Junior Bandits legion team.
They all are close. But the baseball bond between the twins goes much deeper.
"If on the mound or hitting we're struggling, he'll come to me for tips and I'll go to him," Ty said. "For the most part, we have the answers to each other's solutions."
The brothers are friends as well ... mostly.
"We fight over nothing, but then three minutes later Mom comes in -- 'I thought you hated each other' -- and we're friends again," Ty said. "As much as we fight, we're pretty much best friends."
They'd better be. They'll be rooming together next fall at Washington State University. The Cougars recruited the brothers as pitchers, though they're likely to get a chance to play in the field as well the way they are swinging the bat.
"We really didn't want to go to separate schools. That would be hard on our parents," Bryce said. "It's closer to home; they don't have to travel to different places. It's going to help out a ton."
Especially as they realize a dream they've both had.
"When we were little, we always dreamed of playing college baseball, pro baseball," Ty said. "Every kid dreams that, and now it's coming true.
"It's kind of remarkable."
And when Ty and Bryce are wearing those crimson and gray uniforms, sitting in the stands in Pullman will be a pair of proud parents.
Unless, that is, Bryce ever pitches to Ty again.