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Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

DC's Barlow quickly earning respect from baseball scouts

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

While the high school baseball season ended in May for Dyer County after a loss to Arlington in the semifinal round of the region tournament, former standouts Colton Harris and Andrew Massie soon graduated and headed in two different directions.

Harris set his sights on a college career at the University of Tennessee, while Massie bypassed college for the opportunity to play at the professional level after being drafted in the 24th round by the New York Mets.

The Harris-Massie duo received most of the accolades, and rightfully so after stellar four-year careers with the Choctaws. However, a younger teammate of the duo has visions of following in their footsteps by also making his mark on the baseball diamond.

Enter Trysten Barlow.

The 6'2" left-hander, armed with an 85-mph fastball, is already garnering offers from major SEC college programs and he's only 15 years old. After a productive summer playing with Dulins Dodgers in Memphis, Barlow traveled to Jupiter, Fla. after being selected to participate in a national Under Armour tournament.

When the dust settled and all games played, Barlow is now the No.2-ranked sophomore in the state of Tennessee and the No.87-ranked player in the nation according to Perfect Game USA, billed as the world's largest baseball scouting service.

A left-hander with control as well as a smoking fastball on the mound, Barlow has captured the attention of a long list of college programs. Among those showing interest in the Dyer County sophomore according to Choctaws head baseball coach Preston Ozment are programs such as Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, LSU and Tennessee to name a few.

"When you've got a left-hander throwing in the mid-80s and he's just 15, people begin to pay attention. He's topped out at 88 before and he still has a lot of room for improvement," said Ozment. "He can hit too. The more at bats he gets as we go along things are going to get real serious for him."

During his initial high school season, the dual-position Barlow earned some experience on the mound and in the field as well as at the plate. As a freshman Barlow appeared on the mound in five games, striking out 24 while allowing 27 hits and 21 walks. At the plate, the up-and-rising Barlow collected 17 hits in 73 at bats, finishing the season with six doubles and one home run while hitting .233 at the dish.

Once the season was over, the now-sophomore continued to work and improve his skills as a member of the always-talented Dulins Dodgers. Ozment felt Barlow was up to the task of playing at a high level after gaining some experience on the varsity level as a freshman.

"He was a 14-year-old playing against kids that were 18, and he did well during our season so I felt like he would do well at a higher level of competition," said Ozment. "He always seemed to do well at tournaments where there were a lot of scouts."

Though Barlow will not be able to officially sign with a school or take official visits until after his junior year in high school, he has gotten an early start on the proceedings by already beginning to take unofficial visits.

"He has some legitimate offers on the table right now because he really works at getting better and he has some talent," said Ozment. "He's taken some unofficial visits to some of those schools that have offered scholarships, and you can tell that they're all serious."

Still with three years of high school eligibility to continue to improve his skills, Barlow will probably have a tough decision to make concerning his future by the time he plays his final game as a Choctaw in 2015.



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