BISMARCK, ND – Baseball is back in Bismarck on Tuesday when the Bismarck Larks’ Inaugural Season kicks off with a game against the Eau Claire Express. Here is what you need to know about the men who will lead the team in year one:
FIELD MANAGER – Sean Repay
Coach Repay just finished his second season as assistant coach at Division III Lakeland University (Wisconsin) where he serves primarily as a pitching coach. In his first season, Muskie pitchers set a Division III record for most complete games pitched in a season, accomplishing the feat 22 times out of 39 total games. In 2014, Repay was named the field manager of the Bisbee Blue club of the Pecos League, making him the youngest field manager in professional baseball.
Repay has also coached for the Gary Southshore RailCats of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, the University of Antelope Valley (Lancaster, Calif.) of NAIA, and Dominican (NY) College of Division II.
Aside from coaching, Repay has served as a professional scout for the Baltimore Orioles and attended minor league Spring Training with the Toronto Blue Jays during his playing campaign.
Repay played Division III baseball at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa where he graduated from in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
HITTING COACH – Brandon Nelson
Along with Coach Repay, Nelson just completed his second year as an assistant coach at Lakeland University. Nelson’s duties focus primarily on catching and hitting, and he also serves as the team’s head varsity reserve coach.
As a player, Nelson played two seasons in the independent Pecos League for the Garden City Wind. In his final season, Nelson batted .318 as the everyday catcher and helped the team win the division title and reach the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
Before playing professional ball, Nelson played collegiately at Central Christian College in Kansas and Phoenix College in Arizona. He attended Merritt High School in Elk City, Okla. where he holds school records for batting average, doubles, home runs, and runs batted in.
HITTING COACH – Ryan Snyder
Snyder just finished his first season as a Graduate Assistant Coach in charge of Outfield and Hitting with the Division II Quincy University (Illinois) baseball team. He played two season for the QU Hawks before becoming a staff member.
In his final season, Snyder broke QU single-season records for home runs (23), RBIs (88), and hits (92). He batted .444 that season, good for third in QU history. These numbers resulted in Snyder earning multiple postseason awards, including 1st Team All-American, Midwest Region Player of the Year, First Team All Midwest Region, and unanimous GLVC Player of the Year.
Prior to attending QU, Snyder spent three seasons at the University of Central Missouri where he won two regular season MIAA titles and one MIAA conference tournament title.
PITCHING COACH – Karsten Whitson
Whitson was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 11th round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of the University of Florida. In 2014, Whitson pitched seven innings for the Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox Class-A Short-Season team in the New York-Penn League.
Whitson played for three seasons with the Gators, but missed his junior season due to shoulder surgery. Whitson was a Freshman All-American, posting an 8-1 record and 2.40 ERA in 97 innings, and went 4-0 with a 3.51 ERA in 2012 as a sophomore.
Whitson was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 37th round the 2013 MLB Draft after his missed junior season. Whitson opted to return for his senior season ,appearing in 14 games and posting a 3.86 ERA.
Prior to attending Florida, Whitson played at Chipley High School in Chipley, Fla. and for the East Cobb Braves in the summers. Whitson was No. 3 on Baseball America’s Top 100 High School Prospects list after his senior season, and was drafted ninth-overall by the San Diego Padres in the 2010 MLB Draft.
Come out and support the coaches and players on Opening Night on Tuesday, May 30 when the Larks take on the Eau Claire Express. Tickets are still available! Call (701)-557-7600 or go to larksbaseball.com to purchase one of 30 remaining Scheels 7-Packs.
The Bismarck Larks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate 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 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.larksbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Larks as your favorite team.