Porum's Jacob Lakeman – Athlete of the Month Presented by CROSS

“The thing I like about Jacob is that every time he starts on the mound, I feel like we have a good chance of winning.”

That pretty well sums up Porum coach Kevin Coulston’s opinion of the importance of Jacob Lakeman to the Panthers baseball team. The southpaw hurler, who says the curve is his best pitch, alternates pitching and playing first base and is one of the Panthers team captains. Out of the six games that Porum got to play last year before the season was cancelled, Lakeman was the winning pitcher in two of those games. He is one of several seniors on the Porum team that Coulston has had since the seventh grade. In addition to his pitching abilities, Coulston notes that Jacob’s hitting has really improved during the off-season.

“It’s not like he was a bad hitter before. But now he’s just a lot more confident at the plate.”

Part of the reason for that is pitching and hitting lessons Lakeman takes from retired player Kyle Rote in Tulsa. Rote is also a role model that Jacob acknowledges as having had an impact on his playing along with New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom. Lakeman, as one of that group of Panther seniors, takes his leadership obligations seriously.

“I show up every day and try to help the younger kids out any way I can. If they make a mistake, I try to pick them up and tell them it’s fine and help them get better each day. I tell them to work their tail off every day because you never know when your opportunity to play will come along.”

Coach Coulston says that Lakeman is also serious about his academics though that hasn’t always been the case.

“He’s a pretty good student though we did have some issues earlier. But he’s got a mother that’s right there to get him back on track and make sure he knows that academics come first,” chuckled Coulston. “Jacob is always trying to find a way to get better and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Lakeman says he has been accepted to attend OU and OSU as a student and hopes he can continue his baseball career while studying sports medicine or sports management.