Baseball internship helps two students’ careers

Written By Michael Richter

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Two Point Park students, Don Noel Ranasinghe and Blaine King interned for the semi-pro baseball team Washington Wild Things and semi-pro softball team Washington Rebellion this past summer.

Paul Coatsworth, one of Ranasinghe and King’s professors, informed them about the internship.

“My teacher [Paul] Coatsworth has helped me immensely with internships,” Ranasinghe said. “And I’ve learned a lot while working with him.

Ranasinghe and King started their respective internships in the middle of May and finished during the first week of August.

Ranasinghe, a broadcast production and media management major, aided the production crew for Wild Things and Rebellion games.

“I gained a lot of experience on the production side,” Ranasinghe said.

For most of the games, Ranasinghe arrived at CONSOL Energy Park, the home of the aforementioned teams, at 5:30 p.m. Firstly, he would set up cameras and start up other equipment. During the games — most of which started at 7:05 p.m. — he controlled cameras, worked a switcher, controlled the graphics, determined which songs to play in order to pump up the crowd, or he determined the velocity of pitches with a speed gun.

On most nights, Ranasinghe did not arrive home from CONSOL Energy Park until after 12:00 a.m. Sometimes, he did not get home until 1 or 2 a.m.

“It seemed like many of the games went into extra-innings,” Ranasinghe said.

King’s duties for his internship were similar to Ranasinghe’s responsibilities, but he also served as an in-game host — a job that is akin to what broadcaster Joe Klimchak does for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Naturally, as a broadcast reporting major, being a host was his favorite aspect of the internship. On one occasion, he hosted in front of 3,000 Wild Things fans.

However, King believes everything he learned about broadcast production was also vital to his career.

“It’s good to learn and know a lot of things about production,” King said. “One day I might need help with something production-wise.”

Ranasinghe and King both accredited their respective internships with helping them learn more about their career field, and they believe it brings them one step closer to achieving their respective goals.

Ranasinghe appreciates that he learned how to put on a fast-pace, live sports production.

He aspires to work for the professional wrestling promotion WWE, which puts on five hours of live programming per week.

King, who desires to be a sports anchor on a major television network, stated that his new knowledge is invaluable. It gives me versatility,” King said, “and employers like versatile people.”

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