PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Lefties return to the Civic Field diamond Friday night and will feature some solid returners such as former Port Angeles Roughrider and Wilder Baseball standout Ethan Flodstrom and a host of new names and faces, including new manager Matt Greely.
Entering their sixth season in the community and the fifth on the field, Port Angeles will play a 54-game slate in the West Coast League, a summer wood-bat collegiate league with 16 teams in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.
The Lefties will play half of those contests at home along with a handful of exhibition series, including tonight’s opener with the Highline Bears.
Flodstrom, an All-State outfielder for Port Angeles who recently completed his freshman season at Tacoma Community College, will return after spending last summer with the Lefties.
Flodstrom hit .261 in 28 appearances for the Titans this season with two doubles and nine RBIs in 82 plate appearances.
Port Angeles also brings back one of its top arms from 2021, Zack Ediger. Ediger went 2-1 with a 3.69 ERA in 31.2 innings for the Lefties last summer, appearing mostly in relief. He did start two games including a stellar scoreless six-inning, three-hit performance in a win over Cowlitz.
Port Angeles owner Matt Acker said Saint Mary’s (Calif.) catcher Nathan Chong also is set to return, but is currently injured.
Newcomers to watch
Acker said the roster includes a couple of foreign prospects, South Korean B.Y. Choi and Japan’s Megumi Fukuda, who both play for New Mexico Military Institute.
Choi is a prospect in the South Korean K League, Acker said.
Long Beach State’s Cole Chimenti, a right-hander, also has potential and Acker said he was really excited to bring Tumwater’s Ryan Orr to the team.
Orr will play at Washington State next year.
Acker, from Lacey originally, has known Orr since he was 10.
“He’s a blue-chip prospect on the best Class 2A baseball team in the state,” Acker said.
Acker’s downtown restaurant venture, The Roosevelt, will offer burgers this season.
“The Roosevelt will be doing burgers and by June 14 we will be doing smoked turkey legs like we did our first season,” Acker said. “And the possibility exists for pizza later in the season.”
Acker said Rebel Coffee will be at Civic Field offering warm beverages and baked goods and a new taco truck will serve up street tacos in the north parking lot. Southern Nibble also will offer its comfort food in the north parking lot for weekend games.
The full complement of traditional ballpark fare also will be available at the concession stand.
Greely, an assistant coach with the New Jersey Institute of Technology, will join the Lefties once his college season ends back east.
An Alaska native, Greely has experience coaching in the northwest at Everett Community College. He also has a Lefties connection having coached 2017 West Coast League All-Star Brody Kato at Arizona Western College in 2016, along with 2017 Lefty Sean Roby, who was later drafted by the San Francisco Giants and is now at their Double A affiliate Richmond.
The Lefties are, like every WCL team this season, having trouble finding accommodations for their roster.
If people have a spare room or rooms, they can email [email protected]
Port Angeles remains in the now expanded eight-team North Division along with three of the league’s four teams beginning WCL play this summer: the Nanaimo Night-owls, Edmonton Riverhawks and Kamloops NorthPaws.
Players won’t have to bus it all the way to Edmonton, with a well-heeled ownership group including former NHL players to cover travel costs.
Bellingham, Victoria, Wenatchee and Kelowna remain in the North Division. The other new squad, the Springfield Drifters, will play in the South Division along with reigning league champ Corvallis Knights, Ridgefield Raptors, Cowlitz Black Bears, Bend Elks, Walla Walla Sweets, Yakima Valley Pippins and the Portland Pickles.