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|Bowden bows up at Box|
For the second time in four years, LSU baseball fans had to be wondering, "How did we miss out on that Southern Mississippi kid from Vidalia?"
In 2004, Jarrett Hoffpauir visited Alex Box as a member of the Southern Miss baseball team and batted .455 and was the lone Eagle named to the All-Tournament team.
Four years later, Barry Bowden flew into Alex Box with his Southern Miss team and held the hard-hitting University of New Orleans baseball team hitless for five innings.
That's unheard of in any regional by any pitcher.
UNO did score six runs off of Bowden in the sixth inning (five earned) and forced him from the game with two men out. USM eventually won the game, 13-6.
But don't let that one inning take away from an outstanding effort. Who knows, if USM first baseman Trey Sutton is able to snag a ball hit by UNO's Tyrone Wethers instead of having the ball kick off his glove into the corner for a double, Bowden may have been able to get out the inning unscathed and get a win that he certainly deserved to have instead of a no-decision.
UNO ended the season with the third-most hits of any team in the nation with 717. They averagec nine runs a game and 10 hits a contest. They managed three hits against Bowden over 5 2/3 innings.
Bowden finished with an 8-3 record his senior year, posting a 2.12 earned run average and striking out 78 batters over 72 innings, walking 22. Opposing batters hit .188 against him, and that was against some stout competition.
And this was soon after throwing five innings of no-hit ball against Memphis in the C-USA Tournament before being pulled by a pitch count given by head coach Corky Palmer because Bowden was still recovering from an injury.
Bowden got off to a blazing start this year before injuring a muscle in his right shoulder on April 5. He bounced back, but I can only imagine the numbers Bowden would have put up without the injury.
Getting back to the original question, for some reason
Don't count on that with current LSU head coach Paul Mainieri.
Mainieri spoke with Vidalia head baseball coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir earlier this year and is well aware of the talent in this area.
Not to mention the fact that Bowden and Hoffpauir are two of the most well-grounded, humble, soft-spoken and well-mannered young men you will find anywhere.
Hopefully, when someone from the parish is playing in the new Alex Box Stadium, Tiger fans won't be asking, "How did we miss on that kid?" And they will have Jarrett Hoffpauir and Barry Bowden to thank for that.
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