By Joseph Garcia
When Liberty Hill senior Tyler Barrows moved to Liberty Hill two years ago, he was not sure what to expect. The Deer Park, Calif. native fit right in, however, and has made a huge impact on the Panther baseball team over the past two seasons.
Barrows, 18, is not excepting loans, he is extending is leadership to his teammates and looking for positive things to continue through the rest of the season.
He says he likes attending Liberty Hill because the community is smaller and a lot of people look up to him and are willing to help him out. In turn, he is trying to do the same for the younger guys on the baseball team.
He considers himself one of the team’s leaders.
“I push the team to do better and I lead by example,” Barrows said. “The great thing about our team is that there are multiple leaders who push our team to constantly get better (in order) to succeed.”
Barrows, whose favorite athlete is Roger Clemens, first picked up a baseball when he was 2 years old and began playing at age 5.
He enjoys playing baseball because he loves the competition and, “it is a game I grew up loving and playing.”
Barrows plays third base, the hot corner, and he made a crucial play against Burnet recently with a clean stop and throw out at first base in the final inning to help seal a 2-1 win, with a little help from Mason Baty at first base, who made a nice scoop.
He also usually bats fourth in the order, shouldering the responsibility of knocking in runs while usually getting at least four at-bats a game.
“(Barrows) competes at the plate and is a tough defender (at third),” said Liberty Hill Coach Mike Kristan. “(He) wants to do well and contribute to the team’s success.”
That type of commitment and teamwork, along with solid offense has made the Panthers a force to be reckoned with over the past few weeks.
“I think our baseball team has finally come together and that if we keep playing as a team then we will be tough to beat (down the road),” Barrows explained. “Our goal for this season and every other season is to play into the month of June. We have been preparing our whole lives to reach that goal and I feel we can obtain it.”
Barrows has also been known to come in as a relief pitcher. And it was on the mound where he had his finest moment in a Liberty Hill uniform, he said.
He reflected on the time (last season) when he pitched his first-ever varsity win against heated rival Burnet. He says it’s the most exciting feeling he’s ever experienced.
“I pitched the sixth inning and shut them down, and then they had a man on second and third in the seventh inning with two outs and we only won by one,” he reminisced. “All the fans were cheering and I jammed the final guy with a fastball inside and won the game. I can still remember all the seniors running up to me and picking me up as we won the biggest game we had played all year.
“It was an amazing feeling winning the game for my team and knowing that it put us in line to win the district championship,” he said.
Barrows has always excelled in math class and he has big plans once the season concludes. He plans to attend Texas Tech University in Lubbock to become an environmental engineer.
His work is not done yet, however, as he and the rest of the Panthers try to engineer a memorable run through district and beyond. Barrows is certainly not taking any handouts. He is owning his final year as a Panther.