UCLA baseball commit Gage Jump has agreed to play for the Port Angeles Lefties this summer. (Photo courtesy of JSerra Catholic High School)

UCLA baseball commit Gage Jump has agreed to play for the Port Angeles Lefties this summer. (Photo courtesy of JSerra Catholic High School)

LEFTIES: Port Angeles adds trio of commits from powerhouse UCLA

Players coming for the summer

PORT ANGELES — The University of California-Los Angeles, better known as UCLA, will send three baseball commitments to the other Angeles this summer to play for the Port Angeles Lefties.

It’s a similar situation to the summer of 2017, when Port Angeles brought aboard touted shortstop prospect and UCLA commit Kevin Kendall for a summer of West Coast League games before he joined the Bruins.

Kendall racked up All-West Coast League honorable mention for the Lefties, hitting .301 with seven doubles, a triple, 10 RBIs and 12 runs, and flashed some defensive brilliance in the field before moving into the starting shortstop position as a freshman with the Bruins the following spring.

“We have a strong history with UCLA players,” Port Angeles owner and head coach Matt Acker said. “We had Jack Stronach with us in Kitsap in 2016 and Kendall in 2017. [UCLA head coach] John Savage recruits the best players in the country, and I’ve liked the UCLA kids I’ve spent time with.”

Stronach was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2019 and Kendall is a junior on the UCLA roster, which is ranked third by Baseball America ahead of the 2021 season.

Acker took Savage’s recommendation on a pair of pitching prospects from Orange County, Calif., athletic powerhouse JSerra Catholic.

“I took on two pitchers because I know they will have life left in their arms, have innings left when they get here, and I also knew who they were as players and people,” Acker said.

“They come from a heck of a high school program, too.”

• Luke Jewett, right-handed pitcher: The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Jewett throws consistently in the mid-to-low 90-mph range and has been working on upping his velocity.

“He could be a high draft pick, and we could lose him [to professional baseball],” Acker said. “If Savage is telling me he’s a draft risk, I believe him. He probably has a spot in the draft, whether it’s first round or second round, but based on the slot average [the amount of money allotted for each draft pick], I wouldn’t expect him to sign anything past the second round. The scholarship and benefits he would get to play at UCLA would be more valuable.”

• Gage Jump, left-handed pitcher: Jump is exactly what this 5-11, 190-pounder’s fastball does just before crossing the plate.

“He throws about 90-to-93 mph on his fastball and has a big, big curveball. He can vary his speeds on all of his pitches.”

Acker said Jump reminds him of a former MLB pitcher.

“He’s very Tim Hudson-esque, that’s what I’m hoping for,” Acker said of Jump in comparison to Hudson, a 15-season MLB vet.

And Port Angeles will bring aboard Jewett and Jump’s future catcher in Jack Holman of Etiwanda, Calif.

• Jack Holman: The 6-3, 220-pound Holman swings lefty and throws with his right hand. “He can hit, but he’s a plus-defensive catcher,” Acker said.

“[St. Mary’s Nathan] Chong is supposed to be the offensive guy that’s a good catcher for us, and Holman is the defensive-focused catcher that knows what he is doing. He’s a pretty polished player behind the plate.”

Acker outlined why he likes taking UCLA commits as opposed to current Bruin players.

“They are so talented, they could be playing deep into the postseason, and if they make a run to the College World Series, potentially tied up until July,” Acker said. “Even if they have innings left to pitch, we may not get them until later. So I’d rather take the younger kids that can be here earlier and take the ball. And we might get them back for another year before they head off to the Cape [Cod League] or get drafted and are gone.”


Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected].

More in Sports

Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula Daily News
KC Mack of Port Angeles has at least 500 old baseball gloves in his workshed for his business of turning gloves into wallets and other leather items.
BASEBALL: Port Angeles man turns baseball glove passion into thriving business

KC Mack turns antiques into wallets, other leather products

Courtesy photo
13-year-old Joey Kang of Port Angeles caught a 28-pound king salmon this week at Freshwater Bay near Eagle's Nest. Kang was fishing with his father James Kang of Port Angeles and reeled in his the giant fish himself.
SALMON FISHING: 13-year-old Port Angeles boy catches 28-pounder

Joey Kang, 13, of Port Angeles caught a 28-pound king salmon this… Continue reading

AREA SPORTS BRIEFS: Chinook closed in Marine Area 6

Retention of Chinook salmon was suspended Tuesday in Marine Area… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Members of the Port Townsend Women's Golf Club and the Discovery Bay Women's Golf Club held their memorial memorial scramble July 27.
GOLF: Port Townsend women’s club hosts memorial scramble

The Port Townsend Women’s Golf Club hosted the Discovery… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Jefferson Parks Parks and Recreation

Team Arrow Lumber defeated Team Justice League last week to win the Jefferson County Adult Softball Tournament. Team Sirens took third place and team Barflies-Uptown Pub won the league's team sportsmanship award. Team Arrow Lumber is, from left, front row Christa Holbrook, Mikail Callahan, Jayden Minish, Jason Minish, Jamie Aumock, Mallori Cossell, Ryley Eldridge, Whitney Larson. From left, back row, are Cadian Hendricks, Chad Holbrook, Ryan Riggle, Jadeah Nordberg, Marcus Moug, Adrienne Moug and Joel Aumock.
SOFTBALL: Team Arrow Lumber wins Jefferson County championship

Team Arrow Lumber defeated Team Justice League last week to win the… Continue reading

AREA SPORTS BRIEFS: Youth soccer signups underway

Port Angeles Youth Soccer Club registration closes on Aug.… Continue reading

Port Angeles Lefties.
LEFTIES: Port Angeles erupts in 12-1 win

The Port Angeles Lefties bounced back from a crushing extra-inning… Continue reading

A group of Ride the Hurricane riders pass the new entrance station being built on Hurricane Hill Road. Elinor Jones, 9, from Sequim, was one of the youngest riders in the event that climbs 17 miles and 5,242 feet of elevation to the top of Hurricane Ridge. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
RIDE THE HURRICANE: 800 cyclists tackle Hurricane Hill Road

Dave Logan For Peninsula Daily News A group of Ride the Hurricane… Continue reading

Matt Lane, a Husky baseballer from 2004 to 2006 plays in the Sonny Sixkiller Celebrity Golf Classic Friday at the Cedars at Dungeness. Lane was a PAHS grad who later played three seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays organization. 200 golfers played in a team format Friday at the course and it took six hours for all to complete the course. The event was a fund raiser for the Olympic Medical Foundation and they reported they raised over $76.000. dlogan
SONNY SIXKILLER CLASSIC: Irwin Dental Center team takes first

The Irwin Dental team of Todd Irwin, Jason Doig, Jade… Continue reading

Most Read