Brussels' Ty Sebastian named ISC Canada East Player of the Year
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Ty Sebastian of Brussels - a member of the Brussels Tigers, Toronto Batmen and Canadian Men’s National Softball Team - has been named the 2023 International Softball Congress (ISC) East Player of the Year just days before the calendars turned to 2024.
“Ty had a tremendous season for the Batmen, leading them to two early-season tournament wins, a third at the Canada East Qualifier and seventh at the ISC World Tournament, not to mention that thrilling 15-inning 1-0 win to clinch the Canadian Championship. Ty would throw nearly 200 pitches in that game, recording 22 strikeouts against the formidable Galway Hitmen. He was both the round-robin and playoff [Most Valuable Player],” reads the announcement on the ISC Canada East Facebook page.
“His Brussels Tigers won the Huron County [Fastball] League - again - and then, for good measure, as a pick-up, he led the Walton Brewers to their first Ontario Challenge Cup Championship. Ty was 5-0, pitching 35 innings, allowing only two runs and seven hits while recording 86 strikeouts. His ‘K-Line’ was 18, 19, 17, 16 and 16 and he allowed only one hit on Sunday, spinning a no-hitter in the championship game.”
Also as part of the post, Sebastian thanked his wife, Deanna, for all of her support in watching the games and caring for their son, Beckham, when he’s away at tournaments.
The other two nominees for the award were Mathieu Roy of the New York Gremlins and Quinten Bruce of the Bear Creek Express.
Sebastian’s play with the Batmen and the national team is all in addition to his work with his home squad of the Brussels Tigers, who were crowned Huron County Fastball League champions again this year, making their way through the year-end tournament not only undefeated, but not giving up a single run the entire way.
While the work of the entire Brussels Tigers team cannot be denied, national fastball figure Ty Sebastian had another season to remember.
Going into the final weeks of the season, Sebastian had logged over 72 innings pitched and had given up just two earned runs, resulting in a microscopic earned run average (ERA) of 0.19.
On the offensive side of things, Sebastian was also without equal. With just a few weeks left in the regular season, Sebastian had a batting average of .711, registering 32 hits in 45 at-bats, scoring 24 runs, hitting eight home runs and notching 19 runs batted in (RBIs). He struck out just once.
Sebastian has now been the best pitcher in the league for the last eight seasons, which doesn’t include the modified 2021 season, in which statistics were not kept.
Sebastian’s final ERA for 2023 has not yet been calculated, but he will be the season’s top pitcher again. Last year, he had an ERA of 0.14, followed by ERAs of 0.16 in 2019, 0.41 in 2018, 0.28 in 2017, 0.59 in 2016, 0.28 in 2015 and 0.57 in 2014.
Sebastian was the league’s top hitter this season as well, which made it five of the last seven seasons in which statistics were kept.
Sebastian’s average sat at .711 this season, which is above his performance in 2022 with a 0.658 batting average. In 2021, statistics were not kept, but he also led the league in 2019 with an average of .634. Darren Scholl of the Goderich Grizzlies topped the 2018 statistics with an average of .681 and Chayse Herrfort of the Wellesley Wildcats led the league in 2017 with an average of .585. Sebastian was tops in 2016 with an average of .750 and 2015 with an average of .605.
Speaking with The Citizen in November, when Sebastian had won another international award, he said that one memory that remains outstanding is outdueling another of the top pitchers in the country to claim the national title by way of the aforementioned 15-inning, 1-0 victory over the Galway Hitmen from Newfoundland.
As for the future, Sebastian said he’ll be back with the Tigers and Batmen in 2024, but with an eye towards again qualifying to be part of Team Canada over the course of the season as well. This comes ahead of a World Cup and World Games, both scheduled to take part in 2025. The World Cup will be held in Saskatchewan, while the World Games will be played in China.
Through his baseball career, Sebastian has been able to travel to countries like Australia, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and more to play, which he admits has been pretty nice.
However, blurring the lines between his sporting and personal lives, Sebastian says that another amazing thing about the season was having his son Beckham in February. To have his wife Deanna and infant son at so many of his games meant a lot to him.
Baseball training for the young lad hasn’t yet commenced, Sebastian says, but it won’t be far off. “He needs to learn to walk first. Once he can walk, he can learn how to throw,” Sebastian said.