(Photo: Hillsdale College Ath­letics)

Chargers baseball is bringing some­thing new to the field this spring. Juniors Cole McNeely and Tanner Sizemore and seniors Gabe Prieur and Tyler Creager took to the mic at the Chargers home baseball game this weekend as part of the radio program’s new live broad­casts.

McNeely covered every game and part­nered with Sizemore on Saturday’s first game, Prieur on Saturday’s second game, and Creager on Sunday’s game. All the broad­casters are new to cov­ering games but said they enjoyed the expe­rience and feel con­fident in their cov­erage of the game.

“After getting the tech­nical logistics figured out, all of them went well,” McNeely said in an email. “I did play by play this weekend for all four games for the first time so that was a unique chal­lenge, but I picked it up pretty quick.”

McNeely had only covered one baseball game before this weekend’s slew of games, which won a Michigan Asso­ci­ation of Broad­casters award. But after prepping for these games and getting the hang of the play by play call, he thinks these broad­casts were even better than his first one.

“I per­sonally think they were better in some ways because I did quite a bit of prep work going into these games which gave the broad­casts some structure,” McNeely said. “One of the games lasted about three and a half hours on Sunday so that was a chal­lenge on its own. The key is to try to never run out of things to say and keep it enter­taining and infor­mative, which I thought we did.”

Scot Bertram, general manager of WRFH Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM, was happy with how the broad­casts went.

“Baseball can be a tough sport to broadcast on the radio because there’s so much downtime in the action,” Bertram said in an email. “There’s more space to fill. It’s much dif­ferent than bas­ketball, where there’s always some­thing going on. Cole and the guys did a won­derful job and they’ll only get better.”

For the first game, McNeely part­nered with Sizemore. Sizemore and McNeely were former team­mates on the Charger baseball team and have been close friends and room­mates. Sizemore had never done any broad­casting before — but he does know baseball.

“Once you get talking baseball with someone who knows baseball, the con­ver­sation doesn’t need to be forced,” McNeely said. “Tanner has never done any­thing resem­bling color com­mentary before, but for his first time he did a good job. He knows the team and Coach Theisen very well and could give insights others simply don’t have.”

Although this was a new expe­rience for Sizemore, he said he really enjoyed being able to watch baseball and talk about it with McNeely.

“Com­men­tating with Cole was nice because I knew he had expe­rience in things like this so I knew I could rely on him to carry the con­ver­sation and I could just follow his lead,” Sizemore said. “As far as the dynamic with him goes, we’ve lived together the past two years and we joke around all the time, so to be honest I’m sur­prised we managed to keep it as pro­fes­sional as we did.”

Since both McNeely and Sizemore were for­merly on the baseball, they enjoyed being around baseball again and talking about it for hours.

“This was the first time I have been able to watch a game from a fan’s per­spective so it was just cool seeing all the things that they do that they work on day in and day out that go unno­ticed by most fans,” Sizemore said in an email.

McNeely loves getting back into the baseball atmos­phere after a few years of being away from the game.

“It’s just nice being around baseball again,” he said. “I took a step away for a while because after playing it for 15 years I was a little bit burned out by it. I’m starting to love the game again.”

Though McNeely is falling in love with baseball game, he is also loving broad­casting and not pining to be on the field again.

“Don’t expect to see me out there on Simpson Field,” he said. “I’m enjoying my role in the broadcast booth.”