Freshmen tapped when Trine hosts championship

Freshman year usually ends with a sigh of relief and a rush back home to see family and friends. For freshmen communication majors Grant Tingley and Ben Vigliarolo it ended with a trip to the ballpark.

Tingley and Vigliarolo were tapped by Josh Hornbacher, Operations Director at 88.3 FM WEAX Radio on campus, to help with the play-by-play duties when it was announced Trine University would be hosting the NCAA Division III Softball Regional Championship Central. While Trine’s regular play-by-play announcer Aaron Coyle called the Trine games, Tingley and Vigliarolo were put in charge of calling the tournament’s other three games.

It was a new experience for the two, and not one freshmen really ever get. Still, both came prepared. Vigliarolo has worked with WEAX and credits it and his effective speaking class with making him more comfortable behind the mic. He had the added benefit of “playing baseball my whole life [so] the rules and logistics to softball were easy. I’m used to the flow of the game and have good anticipation on what play may happen next.”

Tingley credited the Trine HACast podcast, which the two co-host with professor Justin Young.

“Not only did it help improve my communication skills and my speaking skills on air,” Tingley said, “it also helped me form a good rapport with Ben, which led to this opportunity.”

Still, hosting a podcast safely obscured in private from the public is quite different from calling a live broadcast game, and there were some growing pains. Vigliarolo said by the third game the two had gotten their timing down and produced a really good pregame show. Tingley agreed that timing was often difficult to judge with just how much to say, but he settled into it as they worked the nerves out.

Consummate professionals, however, the two did their homework. While Tingley said he worked at researching stats and player names’ pronunciations, he gave special kudos to Vigliarolo for his prep work. Vigliarolo noted he spent a lot of time on prep.

“I figured out what city and high school each player was from, and then wrote down important stats for each individual," he said. "I also looked who the main hitters were in the lineups and the main pitchers.”

That prep paid off, as each said they learned a good deal from the experience.

“Broadcasting on live air is not an easy task, but is very fun once you get the hang of it,” Vigliarolo said.

Tingley noted that while it developed his communication skills, he was happy it really built on the working relationship the two have fostered.