The Braves Behind the Mic

The Braves Behind the Mic

By: Madeleine Balestrier

They prepare like Tyler Fitzgerald practices fielding ground balls, they focus on trends and statistics like Scott Schreiber focuses on his swing during batting practice and they gain an opportunity of a lifetime with the Bourne Braves just like the baseball players they cover.

“They are doing something they are passionate about and I am doing something I am passionate about too,” field reporter Blaine McCormick said.

Justin Gallanty of the University of Maryland, Kyle Kercheval of Arizona State University and Blaine McCormick of Arizona State University are the voices of the Braves’ play-by-play broadcasts and the faces of Tomahawk Talk.

Justin Gallanty first pursued his sports and broadcasting interests at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut after his brother laid the path for his newly peaked interest. He was a broadcaster, executive member and sports director for WWPT FM, the Staples High School student run radio station.

He then went on to play baseball at Brandeis University and continued his involvement in sports dominated broadcasting through Brandeis’ WBRS 100.1FM radio station.

Ultimately, Gallanty’s love for all sports and broadcasting motivated his decision to leave his glove in the dugout and transfer from Brandeis University to the University of Maryland where he now solely focuses on a broadcast journalism degree.

As he gained more knowledge and experience of the field, Gallanty achieved opportunities to broadcast 47 different games for eight different sports at Maryland and continues to be an asset to the Maryland Baseball Network as newly appointed director of broadcasting.

Last summer, he took on a number of responsibilities for the Ocean State Waves of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Gallanty broadcasted every game, wrote every game synopsis and managed their social media presence.

Alongside Kercheval, Gallanty has been the voice of the Bourne Braves as he continues to experience his love for baseball and broadcasting this summer.

“When you have a parent that comes up to visit and says they listen to every game and they love it, is the most rewarding part of it,” Gallanty said.

While Gallanty’s path to broadcasting baseball developed through his brother and a connection to the sport, Kyle Kercheval’s dream manifested at an early age with the help of his cousin and a creative way to play MLB The Show.

He was a 12-year-old who did not want his cousin to miss out on their shared franchise in their favorite video game.

“We lived like 20 minutes away and I played the games and gave him play-by-play,” Kercheval said. “I would do serious prep, look at all of the stats and make up advertisements.”

His organization and determination continued into high school when he created the Legend’s Broadcasting Network with two other friends. They mainly covered and streamed basketball.

Kercheval’s dedication to the communications industry sent him to Arizona State University where he quickly got involved with the Walter Cronkite Sports Network, a student-run news outlet. He has been involved in everything under the Arizona sun including as a writer for the San Tan Sun Times, a sports analyst for Cronkite Sports and a constant in the Sun Devil hockey system.

His experiences at ASU molded him for two consecutive years with the Bourne Braves. Last summer, he spent most of his time in front of the camera as the field reporter and this year on the Cape he joins Gallanty to complete the Braves’ play-by-play duo.

“I probably would be doing business or something else if I didn’t start with all of this when I was 12,” Kercheval said.

Blaine McCormick adds to the strong ASU presence felt on the Braves staff this summer as he fields pregame interviews and hosts the postgame Tomahawk Talk.

While Kercheval and McCormick’s paths converged at ASU, McCormick’s professional experiences began at Fruita Monument High School as a public address announcer for primarily lacrosse, soccer, basketball and baseball.

At ASU and with the Braves, he has become a jack of the communication trades.

He began doing hockey play-by-play for the WCSN, but continued to branch out into other mediums, like Blaze Radio, multimedia reporting and videography. He has experience with the Sun Devil’s hockey, lacrosse, football, basketball and volleyball teams.

This summer may be his first time on the east coast but he is no stranger to dabbling in everything broadcasting has to offer. He is the man in front of the camera delivering the story, as well as a helpful hand with graphics and photography to help convey the story.

“I love to tell stories…the human connection with sports is the most genuine thing about it,” McCormick said.

Justin Gallanty, Kyle Kercheval and Blaine McCormick work alongside the rest of the media team to help deliver the behind the scenes of the Cape League and the Bourne Braves to the forefront of the players and fans’ summers.

You can contact the author via email (madeleinebalestrier@gmail.com) or follow her on Twitter (@mads_balestrier).

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