PORT ANGELES — Ethan Flodstrom lost a lot in 2020.
He lost the chance to play one more year at Civic Field in Port Angeles. He lost the opportunity to put together a truly monster season in his senior year. He lost the chance to perhaps go back to the Class 2A state baseball tournament.
Most of all, he says, he lost the chance to play another year with seven of his senior classmates with the Port Angeles Roughriders baseball team.
That squad was shaping up to be a special team as the Roughriders were coming off back-to-back trips to state and came into the season loaded for a possible deep run in the state playoffs.
“It was extremely difficult,” Flodstrom said. “We were really close.”
It wasn’t all bad, however. Flodstrom takes the view that it might not have been a bad thing to take 2020 off.
“In a lot of ways, it was a blessing in disguise. I was coming off surgery [for a torn labrum in his left shoulder], and I would’ve had to play through it,” Flodstrom said.
Flodstrom was going to be one of the big leaders for that team. He was coming off back-to-back all- Olympic League 2A first-team selections, and a 2018 All-Peninsula baseball MVP. That season for the Roughriders, he batted .448 and had an on-base plus slugging percentage of 1.273.
Then everything came to a screeching halt with the COVID-19 pandemic. While a lot of kids lost the chance to play sports, it was especially hard on the kids who specialized in spring sports such as baseball or softball. Flodstrom didn’t play high school football or basketball. Baseball was his sport.
Now, Flodstrom is getting a chance to play a few more games at Civic Field before his hometown fans. He played for Tacoma Community College this spring and is one of several community college players invited to join the Lefties.
Then a little more bad luck came his way. After baseball season, he broke his foot. It wasn’t from playing baseball.
“It was just something stupid,” he said with laugh.
The foot healed enough that he was able to get in the Lefties’ lineup, and he immediately contributed, though he said he feels like he is “still getting my legs under me a bit.”
He went 2 for 4 against Redmond July 10 with an RBI double and scored two runs. The next game, he drove in a run on a sac fly and scored a run against Redmond after getting hit by a pitch.
In his first West Coast League action against Ridgefield on July 14, he had two hits and scored a run.
Flodstrom played a little bit for the Lefties in nonleague games back in 2019, actually hitting a triple as a high school junior. So, it’s not completely alien for him to be on the field with college players who are still a little older than he is.
“It gave me a lot of confidence” playing for the Lefties in 2019, he said. “I had a good game or two, and I realized I can play with these guys.”
Flodstrom is making sure to enjoy playing again at Civic this summer.
“I get to play in front of a home crowd with friends and family. Being able to have that is awesome,” he said.
Flodstrom is not only coming off a broken foot and a lost year of baseball, he had a rough season at TCC. He said he did well playing autumn ball at Tacoma, but when the regular season began in the spring, he had trouble.
“I had a tough year. I got in my own head a little too much,” he said. “I struggled at the wrong time.”
Flodstrom lost his starting job to older players. TCC, like a lot of college programs, is backed up with student-athletes who have stayed an extra year because of the lost year of 2020.
He’s trying to learn all he can this summer from watching players from Pac-12 schools and other Division I schools up close.
“You look at these guys from UCLA, and you look for what is the difference between you and them,” Flodstrom said.
Flodstrom will get a chance to play another 11 games at Civic Field. Eleven games he’s certain to cherish.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at [email protected] news.com.