Thomas Bramley’s Versatility, Leadership An Asset To Penn State Baseball
After a three-game sweep of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Penn State baseball holds an impressive 23-13 record on the season with 15 games to play before the Big Ten Tournament.
While the Nittany Lions haven’t officially punched their ticket to Omaha for the Big Ten Tournament yet, their 5-7 record in conference play is keeping them in the mix.
The team is taking a page out of James Franklin’s book by adopting the 1-0 mentality and is focusing on the game in front of them, according to head coach Rob Cooper. This has resulted in them taking a four-game winning streak to West Virginia for a midweek matchup against the Mountaineers.
“Every conference win is huge. You need it, and we want to get to the tournament,” Cooper said. “These games can be really daunting… Let’s just take care of one game.”
Leading the charge this season has been graduate transfer Thomas Bramley. Bramley has been Penn State’s best acquisition from the offseason and has arguably been the best player on the entire team.
As a catcher, Bramley mans the hardest position to play on the field and, according to his teammates, has done an outstanding job at it.
“I like working with Bramley, he’s made a big difference,” pitcher Jordan Morales said. “He gets us a lot of pitches and steals us a lot of strikes. He’s always on the same game plan with you, and even when you’re struggling, he’s still got your back.”
Outside of his on-field abilities, pitcher Travis Luensmann said that Bramley has been crucial to the team’s culture.
“He’s a great player. He’s very subtle with his shifting and his movements and stuff like that,” Luensmann said. “[Bramley] is a great guy to be around and a great guy for the clubhouse.”
Luensmann also joked about how the team calls Bramley “Grandpa” and “Old Man” due to him playing in over 150 college baseball games. Still, this veteran leadership by Bramley has been a big part of the Nittany Lions’ success this season.
For Cooper, Bramley brings consistency to the roster. Even when lineup cards get difficult to fill out, Bramley is a name that Cooper has come to rely on.
“Sometimes, I don’t think he has a pulse, and that allows you to play well,” Cooper said.
Bramley is batting .348 this season, leading the Nittany Lions and holding the 12th-best average in the Big Ten. On top of that, he leads the team in OPS, walks, and on-base percentage while ranking second in hits and third in total bases.
Whether it’s hitting the long ball or just consistently getting on base, Bramley brings his best no matter where he’s hitting in the lineup.
“I’m not trying to overthink where I am — just trying to stick to my approach and just have good at-bats,” Bramley said. “It’s worked out so far, so I’m just trying to keep it going.”
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