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Ballpark Notes for March 2, 2009

In today’s ballpark news, Dave Nitz is the new voice of the Sioux City Explorers, while the Hagerstown Suns add Ben Burnett in ticket sales.

In today’s ballpark news, Dave Nitz is the new voice of the Sioux City Explorers, while the Hagerstown Suns add Ben Burnett in ticket sales.


The Sioux City Explorers (independent; American Association) announced today the addition of veteran play-by-play broadcaster Dave Nitz as the new Voice of the X’s for the 2009 campaign. For the 17th consecutive season all (96) Sioux City Explorer home and away games will be heard live on 1360 KSCJ and via the X’s website.

“It is great to know that our fans will once again have the opportunity to listen to all Sioux City Explorer home games on 1360 KSCJ and I am thrilled to have someone with Dave’s professional baseball experience join our broadcast team this season," said X’s GM Shane Tritz.

Nitz brings a wealth of broadcast experience to the X’s radio booth. The 2009 season will mark his 47th year in broadcasting and 28th season in professional baseball. Nitz has served as the play-by-play announcer at Louisiana Tech for football, basketball and baseball for the past 34 years. Over his career he has been the voice of the Bluefield Orioles (rookie; Appalachian League) for three years, Oklahoma City 89ers (Class AAA; American Association) for three years, Shreveport Captains (Class AA; Texas League) for 14 years, Baton Rouge Blue Marlins (independent; All American League) for one year and has spent the past six years with the Shreveport Sports (independent; American Association). With Louisiana Tech, he also served as the Assistant Media Relations Director and advisor for the campus radio station (KLPI) for 15 years.

“We have been proud to broadcast the Sioux City Explorers each and every season on 1360 KSCJ. After witnessing the excitement of the X’s in the playoffs in 2008, there is a lot of optimism heading into 2009. Dave Nitz is a veteran broadcaster who is familiar with this league and we look forward to him taking over the broadcast duties this summer," said KSCJ General Manager Dennis Bullock.

"I am looking forward to working for the Explorers," Nitz said. "As a visiting broadcaster, I have always been impressed with the way Shane Tritz has operated the teams in both Coastal Bend and Sioux City and now I look forward to being on his team. I also know the Explorer fans have appreciated the work of broadcaster Chris Varney through the years and I hope I can gain that same loyalty this season."

The Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League) announced the hiring of Ben Burnett as the team’s Senior Director of Ticket Sales, bolstering their full-time staff for the 2009 season.

Burnett brings seven seasons of experience in Minor League Baseball to his position in the Suns’ front office, having most recently served as the Director of Baseball Operations for the Jamestown Jammers (short season; New York-Penn League) from 2004 to 2007.

With the Suns, Burnett will be responsible for selling season ticket plans as well as group and corporate outings.

“I’m excited to be joining the Suns’ staff and to play an integral role as the team unveils some great new ticket packages for the 2009 season,” Burnett said. “I know that these plans will be a big hit, both for the Suns and for their fans.”

Prior to his time in Jamestown, Burnett spent the 2003 season as the Director of Group Sales and Stadium Operations for the Auburn Doubledays (short season; New York-Penn League) and from 2000 to 2002 he worked as a Merchandise Sales Associate for the Binghamton Mets (Class AA; Eastern League).