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All American Game  | Story  | 8/14/2023

Southisene: Teammate, Brother & PGAA

Hannah Jo Groves     
Photo: Ty Southisene (Perfect Game)
As summer ball came to a close, University of Tennessee baseball commit Ty Southisene gladly answered the call that he made the Perfect Game All-American roster.

"You put in all the hard work for the summer and you wanna be a PG All-American and then when you get the call, it feels good and you feel a little bit accomplished," Southisene said.

A Henderson, Nevada, native, Southisene has been playing baseball since he was only three years old - but hardly on the field without his twin brother Tee by his side. And while the pair share a special bond, that camaraderie is just as strong shared with their younger siblings Tate (16) and Troy (15) as well.

"We’re all tight," Ty said of his siblings. "We all play at the same high school, so we’re always together. We all go to the same practices. We all hit together. When we do extra work, we’re all doing it together. If we’re going out to eat, we eat together. We do everything together, honestly."

But as their upcoming high school graduation looms, as does reality of being away from his brothers for the first time in his life. 

With Tee committing to play baseball at the University of Southern California, the brothers have been preparing for this moment - even if it means being over 2,100 miles apart. 

"I know Tee could handle himself and I know Tee knows I could handle myself," Southisene said. "We’ve always grown up playing together and doing the same things together. But we always knew there was gonna be a point where we were all gonna have to grow up and do our own thing. So I think that’s gonna be our first step."

Southisene chose to play for the Volunteers as the place to take those first steps - citing his relationships with head coach Tony Vitello and assistant coach Josh Elander as a few reasons - but also the audience he'll be playing for.

"I wanted to play in front of a big fan base," Southisene said. "The south is definitely different from the west. I think they take their sports more seriously out there - especially being in the SEC."

Despite standing at 5-9 and 160 pounds, the No. 1 rated shortstop in Nevada never let his frame stand in the way of becoming a better player. 

"I know I’m undersized," Southisene said. "I went in the weight room a lot more to get more serious and took my diet more seriously. When all that happened, I definitely pulled a lot of weight, I definitely got more physical and I saw that it helps out a lot - and I’m realizing that now."

But for the 18-year-old, looking up to and training with Major League players, such as Reds' outfielder TJ Friedl, has also contributed to Ty's growth.

"TJ - he’s just a good guy," Southisene said. "He’s a good player, but he’s just a better person. He’s a good guy and I definitely look up to the way he handles himself."

Preparing for his senior season at Basic Academy in Henderson, Ty said he wants people to know him for being a great teammate - stemming from the family dynamic he's had with his brothers his whole life. 

"I take a lot of pride in being a good teammate," Southisene said. "I want people to know that I give them my all - I put 100% effort in everything I do for the game of baseball. I definitely think that’s one thing I want people to know if I was their teammate - I’ll be a good teammate and [I want them to] have faith in me to get the job done."