2022 Spring Preview: Camdenton Baseball


By Kary Booher (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

Ask the head coach of the Camdenton High School baseball team about the race for the Ozark Conference title, and he doesn’t sugarcoat it.

Not about the teams to beat. Not about where his team could be.

“This will be my seventh year in the Ozark Conference. Until someone consistently knocks off Kickapoo and Glendale, they will always be the class of the conference to me,” coach Bryce Durnin said.

But …

“Our goal is always to be in the top half of the OC and play in the district championship game,” Durnin said. “I think we have a team this year to do both.”

Camdenton finished 15-11 last season, giving Durnin optimism about the spring ahead. The Lakers have 12 players on the roster.

Pitching staff

The arms in the rotation could make a serious dent. They include senior Conner Miller, Mitch Orozco, Noah Normand and sophomore Kade Durnin.

Miller was second team all-conference and Class 5 All-State as a hitter. He pitched 51.1 innings last season, striking out 63 batters. He finished with a 2.31 earned run average.

Orozco was an honorable mention All-District 5 after firing 46.1 innings, in which he struck out 50 batters and finished with a 2.87 earned run average.


If Miller and Orozco can trim down two key stats – hits allowed and walks – they could be even more dangerous against opposing batters. They combined to allow 64 hits and issue 53 walks last season. With the double-play combination behind them – more on those guys in a second – pitching to contact could be a good thing.

Relievers could be juniors Kam Durnin and Cole Hilton.


Camdenton’s most experienced players are Miller and Kam Durnin. Both made the Class 5 All-State team. Miller could be in center field when not pitching, and Durnin is the team’s shortstop.

Miller batted .434 last season, with a .724 slugging percentage. He finished with 33 hits, including nine doubles and five triples. Even better, he drew 16 walks and struck out only eight times. Overall, he scored 20 runs and drove in 22 runs.

Durnin batted .525. He finished with 42 hits, including 13 doubles, three triples and four home runs. He also drove in 23 runs and scored 34 times.

“They batted 1-2 and set the table each game,” Coach Durnin said. “Every game they scored, we won; that simple. And although their offensive stats got them their all-conference, district and state honors, their defense at shortstop and center field plays a huge role in the success of our team.”

The rest of the projected roster includes Landon Thomas at catcher, Kade Durnin at first base, Karson Durnin at second base and Orozco at third base.

The outfield could see Miller in center, either Taden Graves or Evan Farris in right field and Jackson Basham in left. Cole Hilton cold be the designated hitter.

“Orozco also played nearly ever game last season and will add a ton of experience in the field, at the plate and on the mound,” Coach Durnin said.

A couple of so-called sleepers could be Kade Durnin and Basham.

“Kade started at second base and pitched as a freshman. He ended the season very confident at the plate and just continues to get better on the mound,” Coach Durnin said. “He has been up to 89 mph this season.”

Kade and his brother Kam turned 11 double plays last season.

Jackson finished last season batting fourth.

“Jackson is probably the biggest key to our group,” Coach Durnin said. “If he can produce offensively, that could be huge for our team.”

Overall, Durnin sees similarities between this team and another recent team.

“We should have more experienced hitters like the 2019 district championship team,” Coach Durnin said.

Camdenton hosts a jamboree on March 10 with Waynesville and Dixon. The Lakers’ first game is against Eldon on March 18.

Related Posts