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Under The Gun: The Harnett County Trio
Written by Trey Daly



Impact Baseball traveled down to Angier, North Carolina for this special edition of "Under The Gun" interview with the sophomore trio from Harnett Central High School. Tyson Messer and Cole Hart are two of the premier pitchers in the state of North Carolina, while Darryl Johnson roams the outfield for the Trojans. Harnett Central is looking for a big year in the 4A Greater Neuse conference. The sophomores have been working extremely hard this off-season and are very anxious to get the 2013 season underway.

(Pictured left to right: Tyson Messer, Darryl Johnson, Cole Hart)

Name: Tyson Messer
High School: Harnett Central
Position: RHP
Graduation: 2015
College Commitment: Not Committed

Name: Darryl Johnson
High School: Harnett Central
Position: OF
Graduation: 2015
College Commitment: Not Committed

Name: Cole Hart
High School: Harnett Central
Position: LHP
Graduation: 2015
College Commitment: N.C. State


What are your expectations your sophomore season coming season for Harnett County?

Tyson: My expectations are to become a better overall baseball player and help Harnett Central win games anyway possible.

Darryl: We have a really strong group of guys, that I feel will pay off for us on the field. I want to compete for the conference championship.

Cole: My expectations are have a solid season and to make a run in the 4A State baseball playoffs.


What are your strengths as a baseball player?

Tyson: My strengths are my arm strength on the mound and the ability to hit the ball where it is pitched.

Darryl: My strengths are my speed in the outfield and on the bases. At the plate I feel that I have a very good bat, with my speed I feel that plays a big part to my hitting approach.

Cole: One of my big assest's is my arm strength. It plays very well in the outfield and off the rubber.

What have you been doing this off-season to get ready for your spring season?

Tyson: This off-season I have been lifting weights trying to become a stronger baseball player. I have also been working in the bullpen very hard on my location.

Darryl: This off-season I've been in the weight room trying to get a lot stronger, hitting and get all my fundamentals right, working on my speed and quickness. I've been running to stay in shape and throwing as much as possible.

Cole: This off-season I have been in the weight room a lot, I have committed myself to lifting weights and after school is out I have been going to baseball workouts.

What's your most memorable game up to this point of your young career?

Tyson: My most memorable game was when I was 14 years old playing in AAU baseball and winning the championship against a team that had previously beat us.

Darryl: My most memorable game had to be my freshman year playing legion ball against Jack Britt and hitting my first homerun off the scoreboard.

Cole: My most memorable game to this point had to be last year as a freshman pitching against Knightdale High School, I feel like that game was a probably the best game I ever pitched.

Who is the best player you have every played with?

Tyson: I would have to say Cole Hart, he has outstanding athletic ability.

Darryl: Cole Hart- no doubt!

Cole: As a hitter I would say Braxton Davidson (UNC Commit) as a pitcher I would say Tyson.

What are your plans this summer?

Tyson: I will be playing with The Dirtbags, and competing in the biggest showcase tournaments and hopefully committing to play college baseball.

Darryl: I will be playing showcase baseball with The Dirtbags

Cole: This summer I will be playing a lot of baseball with The Dirtbags, helping my cousin with t-ball. Also, I will likely spend a lot of time with my family hunting and fishing.

Who's one guy you would not want to face if you were on the bump?

Tyson: The one person, I would not want to face is Brett McLamb over at Triton High School.

Darryl: N/A

Cole: This is easy, Ryder Jones (Watauga High/Stanford Commit) I have seen him hit a baseball a mile.

What's your mental approach when you are toeing the rubber that day?

Tyson: My approach is to pound the zone, throw strikes and hit my spots in order to get quick outs. I try to pitch to contact to save my arm for deeper in the game.

Darryl: N/A

Cole: I really don’t have an approach on the mound; my main concern is just to get the batter out.

Darryl, what’s your mindset being a leadoff hitter and trying to set the tone?

Darryl: Before I enter the box is that I set my mind on the pitch I want and where I want it. If it's not there then I'm not swinging, I try to get the pitch count up as much as possible if I can. Before I step in the box I wait to see if the third baseman is playing back in the dirt; I also try to see if the catcher has good feet behind the dish, if the catcher is slow and the third baseman is back then I will try to lay a bunt down the third base line and beat it out.

Describe your other teammates as a baseball player..

Tyson: Cole is a guy that every time he steps on the field he is going to give you all he has. On the mound he is special, he has great arm strength and has the ability to change a game, overall he is a great ball player. Darryl has unbelievable speed on the base path and in the outfield; he has the ability to run down anything in the gaps. At the dish, he is a spark plug for our club.

Darryl: Cole is a freak athlete; he always tries his best on everything. You will never see him walking on a baseball field. He's a tremendous pitcher and a good outfielder too. He has a good bat and plays the game at good speed. He is always trying to help a teammate out if they're struggling with something; he's fun to be around and a very kind person. Tyson is a great athlete as well; he is always trying his best to get better. He has a unreal ability on the mound, he's always trying his hardest to do something positive on the field. He loves cheering up a teammate, if they're not in the best of moods or if they're frustrated about something. Tyson is definitely the type of guy you like to have in your dugout and on your team.

Cole: Tyson is a great baseball player that has a really good arm and is fun to be on a team with because of his humor. Darryl is a great baseball player who has a great bat, is very quick, and a great person to have on your team because of his baseball talent.

Who's your role model?

Tyson: My role model is Justin Verlander

Darryl: My role model is Trea Turner, I love the way he plays the game.

Cole: My role model are my parents, they have always been there for me.

If you could pick one person to change spots with for a day, who would it be and why?

Tyson: I would love to trade places with Justin Verlander, he is one of the best pitchers in the game and is a great role model off the field as well.

Darryl: I would love to trade places with Jose Reyes he is a amazing shortstop and such a good player. I'd like to hang out with the team, hit in their facility and practice on the new Miami Marlins field.

Cole: I would love to trade places with Randy Johnson, because on the mound with his height and weight that has to be scary for the batter in the box.

What are your hobbies outside of baseball?

Tyson: My hobbies off the baseball field are playing basketball and football with my friends.

Darryl: My hobbies outside of baseball are fishing and hanging out with friends.

Cole: My hobbies are fishing, hunting and riding horses.

Favorite Movie:

Tyson: The Campaign

Darryl: The Rookie

Cole: The Sandlot

Favorite Video Game:

Tyson: MLB 2K12

Darryl: MLB The Show

Cole: “I don’t play video games”

Favorite Food:

Tyson: Mac and Cheese

Darryl: Italian Food

Cole: Chicken

Favorite Music:

Tyson: Country

Darryl: Country

Cole: Country

Favorite Sport (beside baseball):

Tyson: Basketball

Darryl: Football

Cole: Football

Favorite MLB team:

Tyson: Boston Red Sox

Darryl: Miami Marlins

Cole: Atlanta Braves, Texas Ranger, Philadelphia Phillies

Impact Baseball would like to thank Tyson, Darryl and Cole for their "Under The Gun" interview. We would like you and the Harnett Central Trojans the best of luck this season.

Stay tuned for more interview here with Impact Baseball...