Spencer Sarringar stacked up with any catcher in the Northwoods League this summer.
The Bismarck Larks' backstop tied for second in home runs (5) and runs batted in (33) among all NWL catchers. Defensively, he had just two errors in 38 games, although both bothered him when summing up his season.
"Those two errors still bug me. I hold myself to a high standard. I think as a catcher, you need to do that," he said.
Sarringar's tough grading applies to his entire game. Coming off an all-conference season at Northern State in Aberdeen, S.D., during the spring, he had high expectations.
"Coming in, I wanted to set a high bar knowing the quality competition you face every day in the Northwoods League," Sarringar said. "I would've liked it to go better. I think you're always trying to analyze what you're doing right and wrong. There were positives. Overall, it was a lot of fun, but as a player you always kinda look back and think about what you could have done better."
Sarringar has the traits of a potential pro. He's big — 6-foot-2, 225 pounds — has a strong arm and can run. He stole eight bases during the college season and seven for the Larks. Seeing the former wrestling champion for T.H. Riggs High School rumble around the bases was an uncommon occurrence for a catcher.
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He also had a disciplined approach at the plate, drawing 30 walks and striking out only 37 times.
Will Flynt, Larks manager, sees a bright future for the Pierre, S.D., product known as "Sarg."
"Sarg is a big league catcher," Flynt said confidently. "He's going to have a great college season and come back next summer and kill it."
Sarringar was one of a handful of NCAA Division II players to have really strong seasons for the Larks.
Jaxon Rosencranz led the team in batting average (.315), home runs (7) and was second in steals (22). Rosencranz will be a senior at Augustana this year. Although like Sarringar, he could have extra year of eligibility for COVID-19-related rules if he wants to use it.
Ben Teel, who plays his college baseball at Montevallo (Ala.), hit .293 with a team-high 35 RBIs.
On the mound, Seth Brewer was steady from start to finish. The all-conference pitcher at Northern State logged a team-high 52 2/3 innings with a solid 3.69 earned run average. Brewer also led the staff in wins (4).
Representing D-II baseball was not lost on Sarringar.
"It doesn't matter if it's NAIA, Division I, Division II, in the Northwoods League you're going up against good guys every night," Sarringar said. "I think we definitely wanted to show what Division II baseball was all about and that we can compete at this level."
Playing catcher in Bismarck this summer was tougher than anywhere else in the Northwoods League for one reason — the heat. With several 100 degree games and almost every night in the 90s, it took a physical toll.
"It was challenging, but I thought with the other catchers we had, we were able to rotate and get a break when we needed it," Sarringar said. "It was pretty hot, but it's summer, so that comes with the territory."
Sarringar also has excelled academically at NSU, earning All-NSIC academic honors. He takes a similarly methodical approach to his play on the field.
"You're going to experience ups and downs whether it's college or during summer ball with as long as the season is," he said. "The big thing is being able to control those ups and downs and keep everything as level as possible."
After facing some live arms throughout the summer, he knows the key area of improvement he needs to make if he's to catch the eyes of pro scouts.
"Speeding up my bat is the biggest thing," he said. "Sometimes I get a little draggy with my swing. I just need to be able to catch up to some of those higher velo guys, the guys who throw 95-plus (mph).
"You never have it all figured out. You always have to keep getting better."
Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or email@example.com