Prep Baseball Report

Everything Right About Penn State In The Eyes Of Brown

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Everything Right About Penn State In The Eyes Of Brown

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Robert Brown III RHP / OF / Phillips Academy Andover, MA / 2025

NORTH ANDOVER, Ma. - The new coaching staff at Penn State has what Robert Brown III is looking for at the next level. It made a commitment to the Big 10 school an easy decision for the ninth-rated 2025 right-handed pitcher in New England.

“The staff has a history of winning,” Brown related. “The goal is Omaha. They’re putting a lot of time and energy into making the players and facilities into the best they can be and a powerhouse program.”

There is more the junior at Phillips Academy Andover believes is right about a commitment to Penn State.

“I felt my personality showed well with the coaches,” Brown explained. “The conversations with them were genuine, they didn’t feel like a business meeting.

“They want players that want to get a degree, that want to mix high baseball as well as good academics with a strong work ethic.”

The 18th-ranked junior in New England first had contact with (head) coach (Mike) Gambino when he was at Boston College.

“I did two camps there,” Brown reflected. “Over the summer he saw me a few times while he was still at BC. Then he went to Penn State, but with the new rule change it was tough to stay in contact. Coach (Will) Jauss came and watched me in Georgia and I did well there. Come Aug. 1 they gave me an offer.

“It was a huge decision,” the 16-year-old added. “There was interest from other Power 5 schools, but I gelled well with the Penn State coaches. I felt my recruitment was handled really well. On my visit I met everyone in person. The atmosphere was amazing, and it’s an amazing academic school which is important to me.”

The official visit came on Sept. 1 and Brown accepted a week after.

“I like the feel of the big school, that’s my personality, with a big fan base and surrounded by people that will support me and the program,” Brown noted.

The Penn State coaches found the 6-1 200-pounder to be a perfect fit.

“The new staff is bringing in players with the drive to win, who will push themselves and players around them to help meet peak potential,” Brown said. “They watched me in close games, and I wasn’t always good, but I worked through things. They want players that will work hard, play the game 110 percent at all times and make the program the best it can be.”

In the end there was no doubt in Brown’s decision to commit to the school in Happy Valley, Pa., 71/2 hours from home.

“Penn State was my first visit and I knew right away where I wanted to go,” Brown pointed out. “I had a bunch of calls (Aug. 1) and talked to a lot of great coaches, but nothing stood out the way Penn State did.”

It brought an end to a recruiting process that had some stress along the way.

“The summer of 2022 I played up to 16U as a 15-year-old and that put me in front of a lot of schools,” Brown related. “I also played in some big PBR tournaments at LakePoint as well as going to PBR showcases in Connecticut and Wooster and was getting looks. But my recruitment did not take off right away, there were no offers.

“Then the rule changed. I couldn't talk to coaches from March to August. So I worked and put on velo, polished up my secondary pitches and on Aug. 1 my recruitment took off and some offers came in. I credit a lot of my success to my dad. We talked about what I wanted in a school and researched them. I considered all options and that’s when Penn State stood out.”

Improvement on the mound was vital according to the ninth-ranked junior in Massachusetts.

“A year ago at a PBR event I was sitting 83-86 and topping at 87,” Brown noted. “I had underdeveloped offspeed, my changeup and slider were not there. In the offseason I worked with a pitching coach, Pete Delani, and Steve Lomasney helped with my repertoire and what breaking balls work best for me. Those two were really helpful.

“I also did a lifting program dedicated to pitchers,” Brown continued, adding Brandon Bingel to the list of people that have been beneficial in his baseball journey. “I played with Thomas White and some other top pitchers that helped me to maximize my potential in pitching and I went up to 88-91, topping at 92 in the summer. The goal is to be 95-96 by the time I graduate.”

The fourth-rated junior right-handed pitcher in Massachusetts is confident he can be a major asset to the Big 10 program in Pennsylvania after that.

“One of the things that drew me to Penn State is that I’ll be part of a building program and be one of the classes that will get to Omaha,” Brown said. “I will come in every day and make sure no one slacks off, keep things light-hearted while working as hard as I can to be the best player so when I get my opportunity I will be fully prepared for that time.”

The feeling once a commitment was made was “pure happiness” according to Brown.

“That was my dream my entire life, to play Division I baseball,” Brown related. “To fulfill it playing in the Big 10, a Power 5 conference, is hard to describe. It was the proudest I ever felt. My parents and grandparents sacrificed everything to get me through the process … it was just a feeling of happiness and being proud.”

A major in business and a minor in communication with the goal of corporate law is the plan for Brown, a 3.85 student ready for what the future holds at the next level.

“I’m looking forward to working with all the coaches there to make myself the best player I can be,” Brown concluded. “I look forward to being part of the atmosphere there with overwhelming pride and excitement. I’m proud to play with Penn State across the chest and the pride that holds.”

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