Bellingham Bells catcher Matt James.
PHOTO:Radley Muller Photography
Matt James Representing Bellingham Bells at HR Derby
July 16, 2018
Local slugger Matt James will be looking for the long ball tonight in Port Angeles. The Bellingham Bells catcher will compete in the "Saltwater Splashdown", this year's West Coast League All-Star Game Home Run Derby hosted by the Port Angeles Lefties.
According to a WCL press release the competition will be very different from those in the past. Instead of slugged out at a ballpark, participants will blast away from a raised platform at Hollywood Beach over a rope connected to anchors more than 300 feet offshore in the Port Angeles Harbor.
"I've attended many of MLB's Home Run Derbies and, just being honest here, most of them were largely snooze fests. So I was thrilled when told of Port Angeles's plans this year. A Splash Fest in the Strait of Juan de Fuca? I don't ever wanna go back!," said WCL commissioner Rob Neyer.
James is the logical choice to resent the Bells. The former Ferndale High School star and current sophomore at Notre Dame leads Bellingham in home runs with 6 on the season.
Saltwater Splashdown Lineup:
Bellingham Bells: Matt James of Notre Dame
Bend Elks: Tynan Holmstrom of Union College
Corvallis Knights: Cody Hawken of Portland
Cowlitz Black Bears: Ryan Kim of Portland
Kelowna Falcons: Trent Tinglestad of Louisiana-Monroe
Port Angeles Lefties: Ron Brown of Houston
Portland Pickles: Joey Cooper of Cal State Northridge
Victoria HarbourCats: Jeddediah Fagg of Georgia Southern
Walla Walla Sweets: Zack Penrod of Northwest Nazarene
Wenatchee AppleSox: Jeremy Yelland of Hawaii
Yakima Valley Pippins: Cole Pofek of UC Riverside
Tonight's Saltwater Splashdown gets underway at 6:35pm. Tuesday's WCL All-Star Game also begins at 6:35pm at Civic Field in Port Angeles. Four Bellingham Bells are on the North roster.
- Doug Lange