Rochelle Township High School and Northern Illinois University alum Kyle Seebach spent the early portion of this summer pitching for the Rockford Rivets with hopes that a professional organization would take notice of his talents. After he was selected for the Northwoods League All-Star Game, Seebach caught the attention of Lake Erie Crushers manager Cam Roth, who offered him an opportunity to continue his career in the independently-run Frontier League.
Seebach recorded strong numbers with the Rivets this summer, finishing 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA while striking out 56 batters and walking 20 batters over 44 and two-thirds innings. The 6-foot-8 left-hander, who concluded his five-year collegiate career with the NIU Huskies earlier this spring, didn’t hesitate at the chance to continue pursuing his dream of reaching the MLB.
“I was heading to the All-Star Game and I received a call from Cam asking me if I wanted to play with them for the remainder of the summer,” Seebach said. “It was an opportunity I wanted to pursue and I ran with it… It means a lot to me because it’s still a dream of mine to be signed with an affiliated team. I’m going to continue working as hard as I can to get better every day.”
Seebach has already started two games for the Crushers, who’re based out of Avon, Ohio and compete in the Frontier League, which features 16 teams including the Schaumburg Boomers and the Joliet Slammers. The RTHS alum earned his first win as a professional on July 30, throwing six innings while striking out seven batters and walking none as the Crushers defeated the New Jersey Jackals 4-2. Seebach also pitched against the Ottawa Titans on July 24.
“It’s been a great experience so far and I’ve really enjoyed it,” Seebach said. “It’s a much different experience in comparison to college and I’ve had to make some adjustments because I’m facing professional hitters who are more disciplined and are putting better swings on balls.”
Seebach signed with the Crushers late last month and is currently living with a host family in Ohio. Seebach, who’s nearly finished earning his master’s degree at NIU, will pitch for the Crushers through the remainder of the season, which concludes in early September. Seebach said the continued development of his changeup and cutter are two big goals for the future.
“I performed pretty well with the Rivets and I thought what helped me the most was that I was consistently in the strike zone with multiple pitches,” Seebach said. “I need to continue that consistency with Lake Erie and I’m hoping to have a really good run here. We’re close to making a playoff run over these next few weeks so I’m trying to help our team reach the playoffs. My family came out to watch my last start and it means a lot that they’re still able to support me.”