Broadcast journalism major seizes every play-by-play opportunity

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This is the 12th in a series of articles on summer internships for students at Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Champions are said to be created during the offseason. It’s a mantra Brandon Pelter believes in and why, hours before the game, he’s at the stadium studying stats and interviewing players so that the game of the night is better than the last.

The junior broadcast journalism student is spending his summer in Massachusetts as a play-by-play announcer for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, the reigning Cape Cod Summer College Baseball Champions. For over a month now, Pelter has been calling Red Sox games from the booth. Thanks to his preparation, during the first pitch, he transparently shares statistics and striking observations with the fans who listen to him.

“It doesn’t matter what Brandon does on the air… talk show, broadcast, play-by-by, analysis… he makes sure he has some time behind the scenes,” said Brian Tripp, a Penn State Sports broadcaster. Network and former Pelter supervisor. “He is dedicated and always ready to learn more about the trade. “

Pelter regularly repeats the word “opportunity” when talking about his career. Like a strategic coach, he sees it all the time. In his first year at Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, he joined CommRadio upon his arrival on campus. In less than two weeks, he was live streaming a Penn State men’s football game. He still has the game recorded on his laptop, but a little reluctant to listen to it.

“If I listened to it now, I would laugh at myself,” Pelter said. “It was an eye-opening experience and made me realize that I still had a lot of work to do.”

The opponent of the evening added to the challenge of calling this game. The Nittany Lions played at Loyola Marymount University, a team also known as the Lions. “It tripped me a lot,” he said.

Since then, Pelter has called many other Penn State sporting events, including football, basketball, and wrestling. Her work calling out women’s football, softball, and wrestling has also been featured on Big Ten Network’s Student U Productions, which broadcasts student-produced events on the network’s channel and mobile apps..

“Student U is a great program,” Pelter said. “Not many college students get the chance to do things for live TV. It really gave me the chance to work on my radio and TV, and get a feel for both.

Highlights of his first two years at Penn State include delivering play-by-play for the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Madison Square Garden in New York City and the second half of the Big Ten Championship football game in Indianapolis for CommRadio.

“It was amazing,” Pelter said of Penn State’s 21-point return in the game against Wisconsin. “I had never seen such a crazy comeback.”

But new situations and never-before-seen plays don’t have to be on the biggest stage. Pelter said he sees something new in every game he covers. It’s an unpredictability that Tripp says sports commentators need to be prepared for – and a skill he saw in Pelter from day one.

“There are so many pieces that happen to you at an event. You have to see what’s going on on the ground, take what you’ve prepared and apply it to the situation, ”Tripp said. “You never know what’s going to happen, so in order to be able to trust the recall, you have to be naturally gifted. You can practice and practice, but some people just have it and that’s what I see in Brandon.

Pelter doesn’t know when his love for sports started. He played and coached baseball while attending high school in Somers, New York. Pelter’s brother graduated from Penn State in 2012, and with high-profile sports and a distinguished journalism program, the University caught his eye.

“It all started with CommRadio when I visited. From day one I got involved, ”said Pelter. “I saw play by play as a unique and great opportunity to stay in the sport and make a living out of it.”

With the Red Sox, Pelter saw an opportunity to be the live announcer for a team for an entire season. Most of the major and minor league teams have full-time announcers, so having that role as an intern was very special. Best of all, the Red Sox are one of the most successful teams in Cape Cod League history and are playing for their fourth straight league league championship this season.

“It’s a very serious league,” he said. “The players have a lot to prove and a lot of great prospects are presented here. Players are on the radar of major league teams here.

Pelter equates the league with singles baseball A. The games are free and fans get to see young prospects very early on on the verge of becoming stars. Red Sox alumni include major league stars Buster Posey, Craig Biggio and Justin Turner, among others.

“The players are giving their all and playing with all their hearts,” he said. On June 21, the Red Sox scored nine runs in the eighth inning to beat the Chatham Anglers, 11-8. Pelter was there to call home. “It was a spectacular game,” he said. “These guys are playing with something to prove. “

Every time he steps behind the mic, Pelter has something to prove, too. Whether it’s college wrestling or summer baseball, he wants to prove to his listeners that he’s knowledgeable and ready for anything. With six games a week, Pelter spends around five to six hours preparing for each game. He says you can tell when the advertiser isn’t ready.

“It’s easy to sit on the couch, listen and think, ‘This job is easy,’” he said. “Yes, it’s a dream job, but you either do it or you don’t. … I try to do my best to be as prepared as possible and always put on a good show.

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