Family ties nudge Lakota’s Wehrle to TU

College Baseball

PHOTO COURTESY OF DEVIN CLARK Tyler Wehrle, a 2018 Lakota graduate signs a letter of intent Monday to play baseball at Tiffin University. Joining him are (from left) former Lakota coach Drew Linder, assistant Nate Kerr and athletic director Devin Clark in Kansas.

Lakota graduate Tyler Wehrle has ties to Tiffin University.

His stepdad, Gregg Prenzlin, still holds pitching records and in his biography on the TU website, is still listed as “the best pitcher to play baseball for Tiffin University.”

Now, Wehrle will get his chance to play for the Dragons after signing and committing to the Dragons Monday night inside Lakota High School.

“It means a lot to me,” Wehrle said while wearing a green TU hat. “I feel like I am at home when I am there. I told coach (Joe Wilkins) that I love everything about TU. There is not one thing I can say I don’t like. I am ready to be there and get to playing.”

Prenzlin played for the Dragons from 1993-1997 and is in the school’s Hall of Fame.

“It did help the decision a bit,” Wehrle said. “I told him to not be upset when I break your records. It really helped push me there.”

Family and distance from home played a big part in Wehrle’s decision. It came down to Tiffin — less than 30 minutes from home — and Malone University, located in Canton — nearly 2 1/2 hours from home.

“Family is a huge part for me,” Wehrle said. “If I go to Malone, my family sees me pitch once or twice a year. Or I can be closer and they could see me pitch more than ever.”

Wehrle was a part of the Raiders’ resurgence over the past two years under former coach Drew Linder, who has since taken the Clyde coaching position. Wehrle often got the ball in the biggest game situations.

“I had the privilege of coaching Tyler for two years and the biggest thing that stands out to me is he battled a difficult injury both seasons,” Linder said. “Each time, he came back and seemed stronger. He took good care of his arm and body.”

Lakota won a sectional championship in 2017 before capturing the Sandusky Bay Conference River division title this past season. Wehrle started when the Raiders beat Sandusky St. Mary, 1-0, in the 2017 sectional championship game, as well as when Lakota beat Liberty-Benton, 3-0, in this year’s sectional semifinal. Wehrle struck out 13 batters against Liberty-Benton.

“He was our go-to guy and rose to the occasion in very, very big games,” Linder said. “He was a great teammate, especially last season. He took the freshman and sophomore pitchers under his wing and led by example.”

Wehrle was also on the Pemberville legion team that advanced to the state tournament this year. He started one game at the state tournament as Pemberville advanced to the quarterfinal round.

“I need to work on my off-speed pitches before next season starts,” Wehrle said. “I relied a lot on my fastball in high school because I threw it hard enough where most hitters could not get to it.”

Tiffin finished 16-29 last season. Wehrle will be joined by Clyde graduate Mikey Haynes with the Dragons next season.