Through two-plus seasons, there is only one player that has been around for the entire existence of the Bismarck Larks: Outfielder Wyatt Ulrich. However, if not for an email he might not be here.
“I wanted to play in the Northwoods [League],” Ulrich said. “I emailed every one — every team pretty much — [Field Manager] Sean Repay was the only person that replied.”
That was three summers ago and Coach Repay does not regret responding.
“Not many players get asked to come back three years in a row,” Repay said, “but that speaks to his personality and his skillset.”
In his time with the Larks, Ulrich has 113 hits and leads the Northwoods League with 19 hits this season.
“I’m a Division III guy,” Ulrich said. “Coming from St. John’s you’re not going to expect a full summer here. The fact that I reached 100 hits. I definitely didn’t expect it nor think of it.”
Wyatt was even more surprised when he started the first game in franchise history.
“Never had as many butterflies because I’ve never played in front of that many fans before,” Ulrich said. “The fact that I got to start. I was expecting to just sit the bench and watch, but I was able to play.”
What stands out to his manager for the last three years is how he has grown as a player.
“Wyatt’s skillset was definitely going the other way with the baseball,” Repay said. “Next thing you know, we started seeing teams run shifts on him. They started doing that this season and then he has beaten the shift more times that not.”
Off the field, Wyatt has grown as well. Now he calls Bismarck his second home.
“I haven’t been home for three years for more than a month,” Ulrich said. “So now that I’ve been in Bismarck for three consecutive summers for three months straight each time it’s kind of like coming back home every summer.”
Tonight, Wyatt and the Larks look to rebound from last night’s loss to the Mankato Moondogs at 6:35 p.m.