04/22/2015 4:28 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – April 22, 2015 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen have bolstered their pitching staff with the addition of Paradise Valley Community College pitcher Brandon Barnes.
Barnes, a 6-foot-1 right hander, has played for four different schools in the last three years. After starting his prep career at Andrean, he transferred to Hobart his senior season. Barnes started this season at Division-I Eastern Illinois, but transferred to Paradise Valley in Phoenix, Arizona at the semester break.
“I made the change because I thought there would be better chances for me to get a good amount of playing time here,” he said. “Our coaching staff is really good, and I’ve been in contact with our coaches since the beginning of my senior year of high school.”
Barnes becomes the first Hobart High School graduate to play for the Oilmen in the team’s four-year history. Hobart joins Lowell, Bishop Noll, Highland, Whiting, Lake Central, Andrean, Gavit, Hanover Central, Portage, Munster, Crown Point, Kankakee Valley, River Forest and Michigan City on the list of local schools that have produced at least one player that has gone on to play for the Oilmen.
As a senior in high school, Barnes helped Hobart to its first sectional championship since 1993. He delivered a run-scoring single in the fourth inning of Hobart’s 3-2 win over Portage in the 2014 Sectional Championship. The run made it 3-0 Hobart and proved to be a needed insurance tally as the Brickies clung to the victory.
While at Hobart, Barnes compiled a 5-1 record and 1.82 earned run average. He had 25 strikeouts and one save while tossing 34 2/3 innings. Barnes was named an Indiana Top-30 Prospect, a Rawlings Top Prospect and was selected to the Perfect Game Central Regional Honorable Mention Team.
Barnes plans to return to a Division-I school after his JUCO career is complete.
“I think he’s a Division-I player,” Paradise Valley coach Victor Solis said. “He could go to a lot of different programs, it’s going to be a matter of which one has the need and makes it worthwhile for him scholarship wise.”
Barnes is looking forward to being reunited with old friends during the summer season, including ex-Andrean teammate Donovan Chandler.
In addition to his success on the baseball diamond, Barnes thrived on the football gridiron, where he won four varsity letters in high school.
In his last game, Barnes closed out a win over defending JUCO D-II World Series champion Mesa to help his team secure a first-place finish. Paradise Valley is ranked No. 6 in the D-II JUCO nation.
“I’m just glad he’s with us and not against us,” Solis said. “There are other junior colleges that I know would have been happy to have him, but luckily he’s with us. I’m looking forward to seeing him as a sophomore. I think he’ll be extremely successful not only the rest of this year, but next year as well.”