Aces pitcher Barry Enright happy to be back in Reno
Reno Aces pitcher Barry Enright had to use his passport to get back to the Biggest Little City.
Enright’s relief appearance on Tuesday’s comeback win marked his first return in Reno since 2012. His 17 wins with Reno are fourth best in Aces history. Enright, 32, still comes equipped with a 90 mph fastball and 83 mph slider.
“Being here just brings back a lot of great memories,” he said. “The organization here is great and I’m grateful they brought me back. To come here full circle is really special to me.”
Enright’s outing didn’t go as he’d hoped. He allowed six runs on five hits and two walks in an inning of relief.
“It was a tough one for me out there, obviously,” he said. “But the team had my back the whole way. It’s great to be playing with such a great group of guys.”
The right-hander has started 159 games with seven different teams over his Triple-A career. Two of those squads were Toros de Tijuana in 2015-16 and 2018 with Cancún’s Tigres de Quintana Roo in the Mexican League. Enright still reflects on the energy at Beto Avila stadium in Tijuana.
“Playing in Mexico brought life back into baseball for me,” he said. “When you have 15- to 20,000 people every night, it makes the game a party. Mascots are running all over the field and the atmosphere is just electric. But we played some great baseball and it was tons of fun.”
The Diamondbacks signed Enright as a minor league free agent after he was released by Quintana Roo.
In his college days, Enright built quite a resume at Pepperdine University. He ranks first in school history with the fewest walks allowed per 9-innings at 1.58 and ranks second with 56 starts. His 35-8 record is fourth in the West Coast Conference.
He signed as Arizona’s second round selection in the 2007 June free agent draft. He made his Dbacks debut in 2010, sporting a 6-7 record and 3.91 ERA in 99 innings. Enright started seven more games in Arizona the next season, going 1-4.
He was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in 2012, starting two games. On April, 20, 2013 Enright surrendered a 19th inning two-run walk-off homer to Oakland slugger Brandon Moss, ending the longest game in Angels history. The game took place over six hours, 32 minutes.
“It was a long game, to say the least,” he recalled.
He was outrighted their Triple-A affiliate Salt Lake Bees, racking up a 12-8 record over two seasons.
After his brief stint with Los Angeles, Enright bounced all over the PCL and International leagues. He played in 39 games with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Albuquerque Isotopes and Oklahoma City Dodgers over four years.
“I’ve been playing in a lot of places,” he said. “But in the end, I learned so much about myself and the game. If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
For now, Enright is focused on making a push for the playoffs with the rest of the guys.
“Winning anywhere brings a clubhouse together,” he said. “So, I have to be much better to get us to where we want to be as a team.”
— Isaiah Burrows
Streaking Aces reach the .500 mark
The Aces have won three-straight series and 11 of 13 games and enter Friday night’s home contest with Las Vegas with a 49-49 record. It’s the first time Reno has had a .500 winning percentage since April 12. … In Thursday’s 5-3 win over Tacoma, Aces shortstop Ildemaro Vargas went 5 for 5 and increased his hitting streak to 19 games.
Right fielder Socrates Brito (.340) and designated hitter Cody Decker hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning to put Reno ahead for good. It was Decker’s 196 minor league career home run. He’s batting .271. … Neftali Feliz is making Aces’ fans happy with his recent performances as a starting pitcher, and Arizona is paying close attention. The 30-year-old right-hander has 107 big league saves. In his fourth start for the Aces, he went six innings, allowing four hits and an earned run. The winning pitcher’s record improved to 4-3.
On Deck: In Friday’s opener of a three game series at Greater Nevada Field with the Las Vegas 51’s, Reno’s Alex Young will face Drew Gagnon. Friday and Saturday’s games start at 7:05 p.m. On the Aces’ getaway day on Sunday, the game will start at 1:05 p.m. … A 2015 second-round pick by the Dbacks, left-hander Young is 9-4 this season in 17 starts with the Aces and Double-A Jackson. … A 28-year-old right-hander who was a third-round pick in 2011, Gagnon is 1-4 with Las Vegas. He lost is only appearance this year for the 51’s parent team, the New York Mets.
ABOUT Isaiah Burrows
Tahoe Onstage sportswriter Isaiah Burrows also is a general assignment reporter for CarsonNow.org, an online news source in Carson City. He is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he writes sports for the Sagebrush student newspaper. He is the Reno Aces beat writer for Tahoe Onstage.