We have personnel news to report from the Reading Fightin Phils (Class AA; Eastern League), Bradenton Marauders (High A; Florida State League), and the West Virginia Power (Low A; Sally League).
In Reading, the Fightin Phils have announced the hiring of Kirsten Karbach as their new Director of Public/Media Relations and Radio Broadcaster. Karbach had previously been with the Clearwater Threshers (High A; Florida State League) as their broadcaster since the 2013 season. She was named the 2018 Florida State League Broadcaster of the Year.
“Kirsten brings with her excellent experience and a passion for the game of baseball,” said R-Phils General Manager Scott Hunsicker. “She is in a unique position relative to our 2019 R-Phils team, in that she called all the games for the Clearwater Threshers for several years, and therefore knows more about the prospects ascending from Clearwater to Reading than any of us here in Reading do. We are very excited to add Kirsten to our front office staff, and we look forward to her joining our R-Phils family.”
Outside of her broadcast duties with the Threshers, Karbach also worked for Minor League Baseball as a Communications Assistant from July of 2017 through May of 2018. She composed and edited press releases and official documents for the Winter Meetings and Promotional Seminar. She also moderated the “Women in Baseball Panel” at the 2017 Winter Meetings and emceed the opening session at the 2018 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Clearwater native also has worked with the Philadelphia Phillies as a Spring Training Communications Assistant. She had served in that role from March of 2016 until now. She assisted in credentialing, and distribution of rosters, stat packs, lineups, and game notes. Karbach updated daily team stats on Phillies Spring Training game notes and also provided fill-in play-by-play on Phillies.com broadcasts.
“I am thrilled to be joining such a well-established and successful organization in the Reading Fightin Phils,” said Karbach. “Reading holds a significant baseball history and a tremendous fan base, and I cannot wait to get started!”
Karbach will be joined by Gregg Caserta on Fightin Phils broadcasts this season. Fans will be able to listen to Karbach and Caserta all season long on 610 ESPN Philadelphia and online via fightins.com.
In Bradenton, Craig Warzecha has been named the new General Manager of the Marauders. The announcement was made by Pirates Senior Director of Florida and Dominican Republic Operations Jeff Podobnik. Warzecha succeeds Rachelle Madrigal, whose final day with the organization will be February 25.
Warzecha joined the Pirates in 2015 and became the Assistant General Manager of the Marauders in 2017. In addition to overseeing the sales team for Pirates Spring Training and the Marauders, he has played a pivotal role in the daily operations of LECOM Park.
A native of South Amboy, NJ, Warzecha moved to Florida to attend the University of Tampa. His career in baseball has included stints with the Lakewood Blue Claws, Minor League Baseball headquarters in St. Petersburg, and the Philadelphia Phillies and Clearwater Threshers. Craig graduated from Leadership Manatee in 2017 and currently serves on the board of Manatee Young Professionals.
“We wish Rachelle continued success as she embarks on a new step in her career and I look forward to Craig stepping into the General Manager position,” Podobnik said. “Craig is always working to find new ways to enhance the guest experience at LECOM Park and has big plans for the 10th season of Marauders baseball in Bradenton.”
“I’m excited to celebrate the first decade of Marauders baseball this year and look forward to continuing the growth of our tradition of bringing entertainment to the Sun Coast,” Warzecha said.
In West Virginia, the Power have announced that Kyle Youmans has been hired to join their broadcast team in 2019, partnering with lead broadcaster David Kahn for all 140 games, which will once again air on “The Jock” WJYP 1300 and WMON 1340 AM.
“The Jock” will remain the Power’s flagship station for the third straight year, with signals originating out of both St. Albans and Montgomery. The broadcasts are also streamed on the Power’s website, wvpower.com, and on the MiLB First Pitch App. Additionally, LM Communications has joined on as a presenting sponsor of the 2019 South Atlantic League All-Star Game, which will air live on “The Jock” 1300 and 1340 AM. As part of the agreement, LM Communications radio personalities will broadcast live from the ballpark leading up to the game on June 18, hosting their Jock Talk program and coordinating live interviews with players and coaches on Rock 105 WKLC from 5-7 p.m.
“LM Communications is pleased to have extended our partnership agreement through 2019 and the All Star Season,” said Dotsy Klei, VP of Community Relations for LM Communications. “We are excited to continue airing Power baseball games on 1300 and 1340 “The Jock”, and all of our radio stations, including Rock 105 and 100.9 The Mix, are committed to supporting the West Virginia Power in the coming season.”
Youmans will serve as the Power’s Broadcast and Media Relations Assistant in 2019, handling play-by-play and color commentary alongside Kahn for all 70 home games and select road contests. In addition to his broadcast duties, Youmans will be the team’s secondary media relations contact, contributing written content through feature stories, game recaps and press releases to the Power’s website, blog and Gameday Program.
“I could not be more excited about joining the West Virginia Power for my first season of affiliated baseball,” Youmans said. “In my career, I have been surrounded by some of the best young talent in the broadcasting business, and I cannot wait to continue that trend alongside David for the entirety of the 2019 season. This opportunity is a whole new adventure that is a long way from my home in Texas, but I cannot wait to get back to the ballpark so we can make this baseball season the best ever seen (or heard) in West Virginia.”
Youmans is a 2018 graduate of the University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Converged Broadcast Media. The Waco, Texas, native got his start broadcasting baseball in the Texas Collegiate Summer League in 2017, when he was the voice of the Brazos Valley Bombers. Youmans has been heavily involved in the state of Texas for quite some time, serving as a show host and producer for ESPN Central Texas as well as the voice of Texas lacrosse and a race announcer at Texas Motor Speedway.
The North Texas alumnus is an avid fan of all Mean Green athletics, the Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars and Dallas Cowboys. Youmans does have a connection to the Power in fact, as he got former Power prospect Josh Bell to pop out in a high school game. Besides baseball, Youmans enjoys fly fishing, camping, golfing and watching Netflix.
“I am thrilled to have Kyle join me in the broadcast booth this season,” Kahn said. “Power fans are going to thoroughly enjoy listening to Kyle all season long, as well as reading the coverage he will provide on a daily basis. Kyle is one of the burgeoning young stars in broadcasting, and he will be a truly valuable asset to myself and the rest of the organization this year.”