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Post 45’s Drew Harmon pitches a complete-game, 2-1 victory over West Virginia Berkeley County Post 14 on Friday.    Eric Abernathy/Randolph Hub

‘Baby giraffe’ transforms into strong workhorse for Post 45

ASHEBORO — Drew Harmon was never hard to spot on the baseball field. Even as a middle school student, his height and slight frame were obvious every time he walked on to the diamond.


And it was also easy to see the potential in the right-handed pitcher/infielder. The question was, as it is with everyone: Is he willing to work hard to achieve that potential? 


The answer is yes, a loud and resounding yes.


Harmon, a rising senior at Montgomery Central High School, has become a very important part of the Randolph County Post 45 success. His most recent outing was a great indication of just how far he has come.


Harmon allowed just three hits and one earned run with seven strikeouts as Post 45 opened weekend play last Friday at McCrary Park with a 2-1 win over Berkeley County Post 14, West Virginia’s defending state champion.


Post 45 veteran coach Ronnie Pugh remembers when Harmon first joined the program.


“He was a baby giraffe,” Pugh said. “He could make pitches, he just couldn’t repeat it. He was going in all different directions. We have seen him grow into his body over the past three years. And this is just the beginning. He’s still really young and he’s still growing.”


Now standing 6-foot-5, Harmon said he remembers when pitching didn’t come so easily.


“The biggest thing for me was my command and filling up the strike zone,” Harmon said. “My freshman year, I didn’t throw a lot of innings and didn’t get out of a lot because of walking guys, so that’s been a big thing. Working with Coach Hill, I got better with my mechanics and throwing strikes.”


Harmon was referring to Post 45 pitching coach Ryan Hill.


When not on the mound, Harmon has played first base for Post 45. Although he throws right-handed, he gives Randolph County a potent bat from the left side.


 “I’ve developed a lot each summer and I feel I’ve taken big strides each summer,” Harmon said. “It’s taking what they teach you and running with it on your own. I’ve taken everything they have taught me to heart and worked on it.”


That, Pugh said, is a big key to Harmon’s success.


“What you are seeing now is the result of his hard work and he’s catching up with his body,” Pugh said. “He’s still growing, he’s gaining weight and he’s a lot stronger. He’s in a lot better control of everything related to his body. And he’s been working on a lot of things, stuff he’s picked up from other people as well. And he takes all that and with a lot of hard work, he’s benefited from that. 


“I couldn't be happier for him to see his progress because he works so hard.”


Post 45 is one of the most successful Legion programs in the Southeast, and Harmon said he is trying to bring that winning mentality to Montgomery Central, which is still seeking its first winning season in its five-year history.


“Having a winning mentality is a big thing,” Harmon said. “It goes back to having confidence. All of us here, every time we step on the field, feel we’re better than the other team and we’re about to win. You don’t always win, but I’m sharing that mentality with the guys at Montgomery Central.”


Overall, participating in the Post 45 program is exactly what Harmon said he needed.


“It’s been three great years,” Harmon said of his time with the Senior team. “I really enjoyed it. It has helped me develop and get better. We have been good every year and it’s a fun team to be a part of. I love all the coaches and they are helping me get better as a player and a person.”