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|Bowden waiting on Draft|
Trying to predict a professional sports draft is about like trying to predict the weather. The only thing certain is that nothing is for certain.
That is especially true of the Major League Baseball Draft, where teams can pick from high school players up to college seniors. And amateur baseball players are not as high-profile as those in football and basketball.
That's why Vidalia's Barry Bowden doesn't plan on spending a lot of time fretting on when and if his name will come up when the first pick is made on Thursday afternoon by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays up to the final selection by the Boston Red Sox in the 50th round on Friday.
"I just have no idea," Bowden said about if and when he will be selected. "I think getting hurt this year kind of slowed things down for me a little bit. If I get the opportunity to play, it doesn't matter where or when, I'm going. I don't want to look back with any regrets. If I'm not picked, I guess I will have to find a real job."
You would have a hard time finding many people not impressed with Bowden's senior season at Southern Mississippi.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-hand pitcher finished with an 8-3 record, 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.
"I thought I had a pretty good year," said Bowden, who missed about two weeks during the season after injuring a muscle in his right shoulder.
Bowden returned from the injury on April 5 by not allowing Memphis a hit for five innings in the Conference USA Tournament before coming out because of a pre-determined pitch count. He retired the first 14 batters he faced before issuing a walk to KK Chambers with two outs in the fourth inning. In his five innings of work he struck out six Tiger hitters.
Bowden got the starting nod against New Orleans in the Baton Rouge Regional Friday.
Trey Sutton, Drew Carson and Michael Ewing each homered in a five-run seventh inning to lift USM to a 13-6 win at Alex Box Stadium.
After a great start from Bowden in which he did not allow a hit over the first five-plus innings, the Privateers finally collected a double that kicked off the glove of USM first baseman Trey Sutton into the corner.
That led to six runs in the frame by the Privateers, which chased Bowden from the game.
An RBI single by Ryan Eden, followed by a two-run single by Johnny Giavotella and a three-run home run, his 13th, off of reliever Wade Weathers tied the score at 6-6.
"Those first five innings just seemed to fly by, but that sixth inning took forever," Bowden said. "UNO has some good hitters, but I think I put myself in a hole more by overthrowing a little bit in the sixth inning. I left the ball up too much."
USM fell to LSU in its second game before eliminating New Orleans Sunday.
The Golden Eagles lost to LSU Sunday night. If USM would have beaten LSU, a final championship game would have been played Monday - one in which Bowden would have taken the mound again.
"I would have liked to have pitched against LSU," Bowden said. "They are really a hot baseball team right now and hard to beat at home. But I would have loved to have seen what would have happened."
Bowden can boast of an accomplishment few other pitchers have done in their collegiate careers - pitching in four NCAA Regionals.
As a redshirt freshman in 2005, Bowden faced Oklahoma, with the Golden Eagles falling 5-4. USM fell to Maine, 12-2 in their second game.
As a sophomore, Bowden was the starting pitching in USM's 10-8 loss to Troy in the Tuscaloosa Regional in 2006.
Last year at the Ole Miss Regional, Bowden pitched the second game, going six innings against Ole Miss in a 4-0 loss to the Rebels.
"I have been a part of five regionals," Bowden said, including his freshman year when he made two starts before injuring his shoulder, leading to a redshirt season. "I think that says a lot about the program. Southern Miss has had great success. I don't think it's really hit home yet that I won't be going out to the park every day for practice and hanging out with the same guys. I know I am going to miss that."
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