Lakeland beats Mercyhurst North East in home opener, 5-4

Lakeland beats Mercyhurst North East in home opener, 5-4

KIRTLAND, Ohio – Lakeland baseball played its first true home games of the season and beat Mercyhurst North East 5-4 to open the doubleheader Saturday afternoon.

The Lakers dropped the second game 12-8 to earn a split. With the split, moves to 4-22 overall and 3-7 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference play.

Lakeland 5 – Mercyhurst North East 4

Lakeland got a strong start from Jason Byler on the mound and just enough offense to beat North East 5-4 to open the doubleheader.

Byler pitched all seven innings and gave up eight hits and four earns runs to earn his second win on the season.

Zac Sabol had a big game with a single and he also brought in four of the five Lakeland runs. Matt Detering brought the other run in and had a double.

Lakeland was able to strike first in the opening inning by loading the bases and Sabol drew a bases-loaded walk to take a 1-0 lead. North East tied the game up at 1-1 with a single run in the fifth.

Right after losing their lead, the Lakers went right back to work in the bottom of the fifth as Mike Zeuli started it off with a single and then scored on a double by Detering to left for a 2-1 lead.

Sabol came up with the bases loaded again later in the fifth and ripped a three-run single to center to give Lakeland a 5-1 lead. North East scored two in the sixth and one in the seventh to make it close but Byler closed out the game on the mound to get the win.

Mercyhurst North East 12 – Lakeland 8

Lakeland dug itself an early hole and was not able to come all the way back but did get the tying run to the plate in the final inning in a 12-8 loss to split the doubleheader.

Brendon Perez belted a home run and added another RBI to lead the way. Kyle Espineli, Detering and Sabol each had an RBI in the loss.

North East opened with four runs in the opening inning but Lakeland showed some fight in the third. The Lakers loaded the bases and Espineli was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to get within 4-1. Detering made it 4-2 with an RBI ground out but North East got those two runs back the next inning to make the score 6-2 in its favor.

Perez brought in a run quickly with a solo home run to left to get Lakeland within 6-3. North East added three runs in the top of the fifth and sixth to extend its lead to 12-3.

Lakeland nearly had enough in the tank for a comeback in the seventh as Sabol started off with a single and was brought in by an RBI single by Perez to get within 12-4. Perez and Tony Miller scored on North East mistakes to get within 12-6.

Zeuli scored on an error and Sabol drew a bases loaded walk to get within 12-8 with the bases still loaded, bringing the tying run to the plate but Lakeland could not force another run across in the four-run loss.

Lakeland will host another doubleheader with Mercyhurst North East on Sunday, April 7 with a start time of 10 a.m.

For more information about Lakeland athletics, visit

About Lakeland Community College

Founded in 1967, Lakeland Community College was the first college in Ohio created by a vote of the people. True to our mission, Lakeland provides quality learning opportunities to meet the social and economic needs of the community.

Offering day, evening, weekend and online classes, the college serves more than 10,800 credit and 2,800 noncredit students (2016). For more information about the College, visit