(Click image above for video interview.)
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Larks will welcome two University of Arkansas-Little Rock players for the 2018 Season: James “J.D.” Gann and Chase Coker.
“I’ve been playing baseball as long as I can remember, about 18 years,” Gann said. “I love how it’s a team game. It’s fun.” Coker has been playing baseball since the age of four.
Gann, a 6’4″ 220lbs. 3B/1B from Birmingham, AL, enters his first year at Arkansas-Little Rock as a Junior. Prior to his transfer, Gann played his last two seasons at Meridian Community College in Mississippi. While at Meridian, Gann posted a .279 batting average with 29 runs, 43 hits, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 13 home runs, 47 RBIs, an on-base percentage of .331 and a slugging percentage of .591 in his Sophomore season. As a Freshman at Meridian, he hit .242 with 12 RBIs, eight runs and two stolen bases.
“Gann is a very talented young man who is going to bring a lot of power to our lineup this summer,” said Larks Head Coach, Sean Repay. “He hit 13 home runs last season at a very good junior college that plays in a tough region for junior college baseball. I expect Gann to be a mainstay for us at the corners or DH throughout the season. He is a great player with a good head on his shoulders and think he will thrive in the Bismarck atmosphere.”
Chase Coker, a 6’0″ 190lbs. middle infielder from Batesville, Mississippi, also enters his first year at Arkansas-Little Rock as a Junior. Like Gann, Coker played his last 2 seasons at Meridian Community College. Coker hit .329 with 50 hits, 37 runs, 34 RBIs, a team-high 12 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs, 19 stolen bases, a .425 on-base percentage and a .507 slugging percentage in his sophomore campaign at Meridian. In 2016, Coker posted a .274 batting average with 17 hits, 11 runs, 10 RBIs, 4 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .400.
“Coker is a dynamic player up the middle for us and is capable of doing many things for this team,” Repay told the Larks. “He is going to be a table setter for this lineup that is packed full of power bats. He has the ability to steal some bags and make things happen with his feet. He also has a little bit of juice in that bat to run a ball out of the park from time to time.”
Aside from being teammates, Gann and Coker are also roommates. “He