FOUR COLLEGE BASEBALL STARS SIGN WITH LARKS FOR 2018 SEASON
BISMARCK, ND – Four college baseball stars have signed with the Larks for the 2018 Season. Matt Warkentin and Evan Miller will head north from Xavier University. Dylan Rock of the University of Texas – San Antonio and Kip DeShields from Youngstown State will join the pair this summer.
Matt Warkentin, a 6’6″ 250lbs first-baseman from Leamington, Ontario, Canada, is in his first season and junior campaign with Xavier. Matt played last season at Johnson County Community College, where he hit .359 with 16 home runs and 70 runs batted in for the nationally ranked junior college. For the 2018 season, Warkentin has started 34 of Xavier’s 35 games, posting a .266 batting average with 9 home runs, 5 doubles and 24 runs batted in. He leads Xavier in home runs and runs batted in and is currently 2nd in slugging percentage. He also is 2nd on the team in fielding percentage (.992).
“Warkentin is a very special player. He is a physical specimen, at 6’6″ 250lbs, that can really swing the bat,” said Larks Head Coach, Sean Repay. “He has had huge power numbers everywhere he has played and has led the team in runs batted in at every stop along the way. These are all things I look forward to seeing Matt carry over and doing for us this summer!”
Evan Miller, a 6’0″ 175lbs right-handed pitcher from Harrison, Ohio, is currently playing his freshman season at Xavier University. As a freshman, Miller currently leads Xavier in appearances out of the bullpen with 15. He has appeared against nationally ranked opponents such as Kentucky, Louisville, Florida State and Miami all in high pressure situations. Miller has logged 21 innings out of the pen, registering 18 strikeouts along the way.
“It’s not very often that a freshman leads the team in appearances out of the bullpen,” Repay said. “That tells me one thing. Xavier’s coaching staff trusts Miller at the highest level. Miller will be someone I have a great deal of trust in this summer as well. I would expect for him to be one of the first guys out of the pen to help us stay in a tight baseball game.”
Dylan Rock, a 6’1″ 205lbs outfielder from Sugar Land, Texas, is in the middle of his freshman campaign at University of Texas-San Antonio. Rock has started 26 games in the 2018 season, posting a .273 batting average with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs and 11 runs batted in. Rock’s 5 home runs lead the Roadrunners.
“Rock comes highly recommended by Coach Carlson whom I have a great deal of respect for,” Repay told the Larks. “He struggled out of the gate, as most freshmen at the D1 level do, but has gone on an absolute tear lately. He is a strong, athletic young man who is going to fit into the mix in our outfield. I look forward to having him being a positive voice on this team as well.”
Kip DeShields, a 6’5″ 230lbs. right-handed pitcher from Beloit, Ohio, is currently in his junior season for Youngstown State. Last season, he pitched for St. Petersburg College, where he appeared in 19 games where 16 of those were made out of the bullpen. DeShields finished with a record of 2-2 with 4 saves striking out 30 batters over 29.2 innings. In his first season with Youngstown State, DeShields has appeared in 13 games, registering 2 saves while striking out 18 batters in 18 innings.
“I am very excited to have DeShields this summer,” Repay said of the right-handed pitcher. “He is a guy that has been used as both a starter and back end of the bullpen/closer. We’re going to see what he can do in both roles and whatever he is most comfortable in doing. I expect him to help us in a big way on the mound this summer!”
The Bismarck Larks are a proud affiliate of the Northwoods League, the proven leader in development of elite college baseball players. The Larks mission is to use FUN to make a difference in the lives of our families, businesses, players, and communities we serve. This is accomplished with a commitment to putting fans first and providing high quality family entertainment at affordable prices. In 2017, the Larks sold out 27 of their 36 home games in Bismarck Municipal Ballpark, home of Dakota Community Bank and Trust Field, and were named the Northwoods League’s Organization of the Year.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 190 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.