The Saugerties Stallions have stepped up their broadcasting game this year, getting more than 250,000 hits on their live-streaming on YouTube broadcast. To do the job, they’ve been relying on the voices of two Saugerties High School graduates, Biko Skalla and Curtis Jorgensen, who now attend Syracuse University.
Kevin Hinchey, the owner of the Saugerties’ Perfect Game College Baseball League entry credits the team’s first-year broadcasting success to the two. “Our first game we had 7000 views and 100,000 hits, and by our third game we were getting 250,000 hits,” Hinchey said.
The games can be viewed on the team’s website at saugertiesstallions.com, which will take you to the YouTube feed.
Skalla and Jorgensen, who begin their third year at Syracuse in the fall, have been friends since they were seven or eight years old.
“We didn’t really like each other much when we were seven,” Jorgensen laughed.
“That’s because we played on different baseball teams,” added Skalla.
The following year of baseball brought the two together on the same team. They’ve been friends ever since. “Yeah, it was when we made the same team when we were eight that our friendship blossomed,” said Jorgensen.
When Skalla scheduled a visit to see Syracuse during his high school senior year, he asked Jorgensen to go along. “I loved the school,” Jorgensen said, “and applied right away.”
The two were accepted into the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, a school that only takes 225 students a year out of more than 1000 applicants. They are also roommates at Syracuse, and both play on the Syracuse University club baseball team.
Jorgensen does the color portion of the broadcast, while Skalla handles the play-by-play.
How to become an intern
Both made the high school modified team while they were in middle school, Jorgensen as a pitcher, and Skalla as an outfielder.
They were then starters for the high school team, and for the American Legion. “We’ve pretty much done everything together,” Jorgensen said.
Skalla called up the Stallions when he heard they were looking for a broadcaster. “I would have done just about any job with the team,” he said. On the day the team was interviewing the interns who signed up to do the various jobs for the Stallions, Jorgensen tagged along with Skalla.
“We were sitting at a picnic table at the field when Kevin Hinchey came up and asked if this was all those who wanted to be interns,” he said. “I didn’t say anything, and everyone else said yes.”
“And we were all brought into the clubhouse for a tour,” Jorgensen said, “and I was an intern with the Stallions! And since we had some broadcasting experience with our work at Syracuse, and having taken a class at Saugerties High School, they made us the team’s broadcasters.”
The two had taken a computer video production class taught by former high school baseball head coach Scott Wickham, who still teaches at the high school but also does marketing for the Stallions.
A natural fit
“They were just such a natural fit for this broadcasting internship,” Wickham said of his two former students. What kind of future do they have in the broadcasting world? “The sky’s the limit for them,” Wickham responded.
Jorgensen said he’d like to produce movies or television shows. Skalla wants to follow his dream to have some kind of a baseball role. “I realized early on that I wouldn’t be a professional baseball player,” he explained, “so anything that has to do with baseball would still be great.”
Because college costs so much, the two can’t get by on a non-paid intern job. Both hold down 40-hour-a-week jobs. Jorgensen works for his dad’s construction company, while Skalla works at Smith Hardware
But as soon as they finish up their day jobs, it’s off to Cantine Field for their broadcasts. Any television, cable network, or radio network that might be interested in a ready-made sportscasting team should ask the Stallions about Skalla and Jorgensen. For them, their dream lives on.