Brussels Tigers celebrate championship, look ahead to 50th tournament
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Brussels Tigers have won the Huron County Fastball League championship four seasons in a row and in five of the last six seasons, and Shawn Daw, a long-time member of the team, says it’s thanks to consistency.
“Our team has been more or less the same for a few years,” he said during an interview with The Citizen. “We’ve lost a couple players and gained a couple young fellows, but overall the team has stayed the same. We’ve gotten used to playing together.”
Daw said that having good offensive and defensive fundamentals makes for a successful team and, after sweeping the playoffs this year and going nearly undefeated, it’s hard to argue with the analysis.
The squad ran through all three of its best-of-three playoff series, downing the Wroxeter Rippers two games to none in the quarterfinals, the Fullarton A’s two games to none in the semifinals and the Belmore Stingers two games to none in the championship.
The Tigers posted a convincing 8-1 win over the Stingers in the first game of the championship series. The final game, however, was one of the tightest they had all year, Daw said, though the Tigers managed to claim a 5-2 win.
“[The Stingers] were coming on strong, making contact and forcing us to make plays,” he said. “They played well and gave us a true challenge. It was a fitting, final game.”
Prior to the championship, the Tigers claimed first place by winning seven of their eight regular season games, being downed by the sixth-seeded Mitchell Mets in the final game of the season.
“We went undefeated to that last game,” he said. “It was a hot and rainy day, and Mitchell played a good game. We just weren’t ready for that challenge.”
Daw thinks next year will be a good season as well, as most of the team is set to return. He also said the club will be hosting its 50th annual tournament the weekend of July 25, 2022.
While it’s going to be hosted the same weekend as every other year, Daw said other things will be changing with new formats and new activities to help mark the event’s 50th anniversary.
“Due to COVID-19, we’ve missed out on two tournaments, so we want to come back with a bang,” he said.
The event and individual activities, however, will still be dependent on COVID-19 restrictions that may be in place next summer.
Daw said the season’s success was due in no small part to having the Brussels community behind the team.
“We want to thank all the fans and support from our community, especially our number one fan,” he said. “We look forward to seeing them all next year.”