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NKU Student Develops New Baseball App

Senior computer science major Tyler Roth was looking augment his NKU education when he found himself at a career fair, flipping through a pamphlet, looking for an internship that interested him.

And there it was—an internship that centered on baseball and technology. Tyler couldn’t believe his luck. “I played baseball in high school,” he says, “and it’s always been my love. I saw that and thought, I have to talk to these guys.”

Tyler applied for and landed his dream internship at Blue Seat Media, a creative studio located in Over-the-Rhine that builds mobile apps for baseball fans.

Blue Seat Media founders Jeffrey Wyckoff and Chris Hendrixson say they were immediately drawn to Tyler at the career fair.

“He's a big baseball fan, which definitely counts for something in our company,” Wyckoff says. “I was immediately impressed with his resume and positive attitude. He shows up every day ready to contribute and he's very comfortable in the startup environment and with our small product development team.”

Tyler’s main job has been working on the back-end development of an app called Gameball, which Tyler says differs from traditional fantasy baseball apps. Now beta testing, the full version will allow users to look over the starting lineup of their favorite team prior to any game and vote on the player they think will earn the game ball. While users are allowed to change selections as the game progresses, the points awarded will decrease with each passing minute.

“With Gameball, it’s really simple,” Tyler says. “It’s for fans who share the same team, so the competition is split between individual teams. So for the Cincinnati Reds, if they were my favorite team and I thought Joey Votto would be the best player [before any given game], I would give him my game ball. During the game, if that changes, then I can select a different player. You get points based on when you made your vote and if they end up being the player of the game.”

NKU professor of computer science Dr. Charles Frank had Roth as a student in his web programming class and is advising him in an honors project. Dr. Frank points to the importance of internships like Roth’s for finding success after graduation. “In the computer programming field, you never learn all you need to know in the classroom,” Frank says. “What has impressed me about Tyler is his positive attitude,” said Dr. Frank.

Of course, Roth notes that finding an internship that focuses on two of his greatest passions has certainly helped foster his attitude and work ethic. Even the fact that he’s a fan of perhaps the Reds’ greatest rival hasn’t hampered the relationship with his new bosses. “This is out in the real world, and I am doing something with baseball, so it’s really easy for me to pay attention,” Tyler says. “Every time I go to the office, we always have something to talk about. I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan and my bosses are Cincinnati Reds fans, so there is a little rivalry there.”

Currently, the Gameball app is being beta tested with the official release expected before Opening Day 2016. 

Written by Maureen Daniels for Inside NKU/Photo: Tyler Roth (via NKU)