Colby Scheuber of Ocosta High School and Grays Harbor College, was the top pitcher for the Port Angeles Lefties this season, finishing with an ERA of 2.16, second-best in the West Coast League. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula Daily News)

Colby Scheuber of Ocosta High School and Grays Harbor College, was the top pitcher for the Port Angeles Lefties this season, finishing with an ERA of 2.16, second-best in the West Coast League. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula Daily News)

PORT ANGELES LEFTIES: Some great seasons for players; team looks to build depth

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Lefties wrapped up their sixth season still on the hunt for their first playoff berth, but planning on bigger and better things at Civic Field next year.

Overall, attendance was solid for the Lefties, said owner Matt Acker. The team saw some big crowds at its final homestand. The Lefties officially drew 22,612 for the season, in the middle of the pack for the West Coast League despite Port Angeles being one of the smaller communities in the league. As would be expected, Edmonton, which plays in a AAA park, Portland and Victoria lead the league in attendance.

Several players shined for the team this year. In the early part of the year, Drew Standen (New Jersey Institute of Technology) led the league in strikeouts with 40. He still finished eighth in the WCL in strikeouts, though he only pitched 26 innings all year.

One big star who really came to light late in the season was a semi-local player, Colby Scheuber, from tiny Ocosta High School, enrollment 183. He is going to play for Grays Harbor College.

Scheuber joined the team midseason. He gave up three runs in five innings in his first start for the Lefties on June 24. From that point on, he steadily lowered his earned run average with two games in which he gave up no earned runs and two more in which he gave up just one earned run. He finished with a season ERA of 2.16 in 50 innings of work, good for second in the WCL.

“He got ahead of hitters, threw strikes, commanded the zone,” Acker said. “He was a good pickup for us.”

Another player who had a good season was Chase Taylor (Hawaii-Pacific), who was fourth in the WCL with five home runs and added seven doubles in only 109 at-bats.

Roberto Nunez of Embry-Riddle finished fifth in the league in batting average at .330 and finished second in the WCL with 63 hits. He also stole 10 bases.

Acker also mentioned Brock Mayer (Chaffey College), the team’s “Shohei Ohtani.” Mayer had a solid season at the plate, hitting .271 in 59 at-bats. He also started four games on the mound, pitched 31⅔ innings and struck out 34 batters.

Acker said Trent Jackson (Hawaii Hilo) was solid for the Lefties with three home runs, two triples, four doubles and five steals, finishing the season at .252.

The team finished its season with an overall record of 13-41. Acker said the biggest issue facing the team was its pitching depth.

“If you get [fewer than] 14 pitchers, you have to conserve arms,” Acker said. “Every team’s talent head to toe is not much different. Depth is the difference.”

Being down to 12 pitchers at times this year limited the team’s flexibility and ability to rely on its bullpen. Acker said trying to have enough pitching depth is every team’s focus each year.

Some teams, such as Portland and Corvallis, also have the advantage of signing a “massive number” of local pitchers from area schools to give themselves that pitching depth. Corvallis has leaned heavily on using Oregon State players, one of the reasons Corvallis is always one of the top teams in the league.

“That’s not something we can do in a small market,” Acker said.

Acker also said the Lefties will be back with “big improvements” to be announced later for Civic Field for next year.

Colby Scheuber, Port Angeles Lefties.

Colby Scheuber, Port Angeles Lefties.

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