Sports

Professional baseball report: TJ grad Barnette allows one hit, no runs against Tacoma Rainiers Sunday

Tony Barnette had quite a homecoming last weekend at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium.

The Thomas Jefferson graduate grew up in Federal Way and attended numerous games at Cheney Stadium during his youth when the club was affiliated with the Oakland Athletics and was called the Tacoma Tigers. Barnette even played a few games on the turf at Cheney Stadium during his days at Thomas Jefferson.

Barnette and the Reno Aces, the Class AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, ended a three-game series with the Tacoma Rainiers Sunday. The Rainers are currently the Class AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Barnette started Sunday’s game for the Aces on Father’s Day with his dad, Phil Barnette, in the Cheney Stadium crowd and he didn’t disappoint his father and the other fans that attended the game Sunday.

The 25-year-old gave up one hit over eight shutout innings as the Aces finished off a three-game sweep with an 11-2 rout of the Rainiers.

“It’s great, especially on Father’s Day with my dad in attendance. It was a thrill for me and I can only imagine how much of a thrill it was for him,” Barnette said. “Everybody was really excited. It was a nice treat to the day.”

The pressure of throwing in Tacoma in front of his dad didn’t seem to bother Barnette in the slightest. The right-hander thought of the game as just another outing, according to him.

“This year’s been a battle for me,” admitted Barnette, who improved to 6-6 with a 5.83 ERA in 15 starts and leads the team with 60 strikeouts. “Every game, I’m just going out, trying to get ahead of hitters and get guys to swing and miss and make soft contact. It’s a tough league and I’m learning as I go, so every outing means something.”

Barnette was a 10th-round pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006 after a two-year career at Arizona State University. He retired the first four batters of the game before giving up a single down the left-field line to Kenji Johjima, who was playing for the Rainers on a rehab assignment after suffering a wrist injury last month while playing for the Seattle Mariners.

The hit by Johjima was Barnette’s only mistake of the game.

“I started getting a little quick and I threw another fastball up in the zone and he put the bat on the ball and just got it down the left-field line,” Barnette told minorleaguebaseball.com. “He hit a bad pitch, that’s what big leaguers do.”

Sunday’s brilliant outing against the Tacoma Rainiers marked just the second time he has won back-to-back starts this year.

“As a starting pitcher, if you can locate your fastball everything else will fall into place,” he said. “My fastball and slider were working well for me today. I was able to throw my changeup and when I was missing with it I was missing down.”

Despite growing up in Federal Way, Barnette has spent much of his adult life in Arizona. After graduating from TJ, he went on to Central Arizona Junior College before signing with Arizona State. He was then selected by the Diamondbacks in the 2006 draft.

“I like the Diamondbacks. They’ve treated me well and have given me every opportunity to succeed so far.”

Barnette earned the promotion to Reno after an impressive 2008 season in the minor leagues. He was 11-7 in 27 starts last season with the AA Mobile Bay Bears, racking up a 3.87 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 153 2/3 innings. He led the Southern League in strikeouts and was second in wins.

Ishikawa starting to roll for San Francisco

Federal Way High School graduate Travis Ishikawa is starting to find his stroke for the San Francisco Giants. The first baseman has upped his batting average to .270 with four home runs and 19 RBIs for the Giants after struggling at the beginning of the season.

Ishikawa, the Giants’ starting first baseman, was hitting just .219 after a series with the Seattle Mariners with no home runs. The turning point came during a May 25 game against the Atlanta Braves when Ishikawa went 4-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Since then, the former 21st-round draft pick is 13-for-30 (.433) with four home runs and seven RBIs.

This is Ishikawa’s first full season in the Major Leagues after callups in 2006 and 2008.

Brad Reid pitching for Everett AquaSox

Decatur High School graduate Brad Reid is currently pitching for the Everett AquaSox. Everett is the Class A short-season affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Reid was a 30th-round draft choice by the Mariners out of Bellevue Community College in 2008. He was a two-time, All-NWAACC first-team selection at Bellevue.

Reid has made one relief appearance for the AquaSox this season, allowing one hit and striking out one Saturday during a 10-1 win over Vancouver. It was Everett’s first game of the season.

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