Senior pioneers baseball broadcasts

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nick Lenz interviews Pat Dolan

Husky Diamond producer/anchor Nick Lenz, left, interviews Pat Dolan 92 following a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament game in Mankato. Dolan, the head baseball coach, credits the broadcasts with aiding his Husky recruiting.

Nick Lenz interviews Pat Dolan Joel Larsen 

Mass Communications seniors are not required to do a capstone project, such as a senior thesis.

That didn't deter Nick Lenz, a broadcasting major from Lake Crystal.

Lenz helped University Television System (UTVS) expand its broadcasts to include baseball games.

Lenz' senior thesis, as it were, was producing and anchoring 18 broadcasts that helped chronicle the 43-11 Husky Baseball season. St. Cloud State bowed out of the NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament on May 23.

"He (Lenz) was just golden on the mic," said Pat Dolan '92, head baseball coach. "To have our games on TV and those videos on YouTube has been a huge shot in the arm for our program."

The broadcasts were seen on Charter cable channel 21 and streamed to the Internet via the campus television station's utvs. com website. Highlight and interview clips posted to the Husky Athletics website and YouTube helped fans, friends and family experience games they couldn't attend, according to Tom Nelson, assistant director of athletic media relations.

One video clip earned Husky Diamond national acclaim. It showed a Winona State University base runner being duped into advancing to third base, where a waiting Jordan Smith tagged him with a hidden ball. The April 9 clip was picked up by ESPN SportsCenter.

The Husky Diamond crew varied from broadcast to broadcast. Among the regulars:

  • Douglas Fish, Crystal senior and UTVS program director, camera operator
  • Wesley Beskar, Eagan senior, engineer
  • Derick Snell, director of baseball operations, color commentary
  • Derrick Silvestri '06, TV studio manager, studio support
  • Joel Larsen '10, Morris graduate student, director

Larsen's directing wizardry peaked at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament games in Mankato. For four games he punched up the broadcast feed while simultaneously joy-sticking two remotecontrol cameras.

"No one expected Husky Diamond to be what it was in its first year," said Lenz. "I don't think it could have gone better."

The baseball team returns next year with another powerhouse lineup and a stable of outstanding young pitchers. Lenz, however, is slated to graduate in December.

With a WCCO television internship under his belt, Lenz is pursuing an ESPN internship and a career in sports broadcasting. View his portfolio at nicklenz.com.

Said Nelson: "There are students who will pick up the torch Nick lit and keep Husky Diamond going."

{ Web extra } View the Husky Diamond clip viewed 'round the nation

- STORY BY JEFF WOOD '81 '87 '95 | PHOTOGRAPHS by Neil Andersen '96 and COURTESY OF NICK LENZ

<< Previous  |  Contents  |  Next >>