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|Bowden closing out opponents|
It wasn't the kind of start to the season Barry Bowden was counting on when the Wilmington Blue Rocks faced Myrtle Beach in the second game of the season last month.
Bowden made his first appearance of the season in the ninth inning with his team leading 9-8, but gave up a home run to Shayne Moody that gave Myrtle Beach a 10-9 win.
"That wasn't how I planned on starting out" Bowden said. "I left that first pitch up a little high and he hit it. It's not the first time, and it won't be the last. You just put something like that behind you and move on."
But Bowden (1-2) has certainly got the upper hand since that first outing.
The Vidalia native leads the Blue Rocks with four saves and has one of the top earned run averages on the team at 2.12.
Bowden had 11 straight scoreless outings and 14.2 consecutive scoreless innings before giving up two runs on Sunday.
Bowden has struck out 21 and walked seven.
"I've been working on my control," Bowden said. "That's the only thing that's really been lacking. I'm looking for more consistency there."
Bowden finished last season with the Blue Rocks, the Kansas City Royals' high Class A team.
Bowden started out with the Class A Burlington Bees where he led the team with 10 saves. Bowden said he is hoping to eventually move up with the Royals' double-A team in Springdale, Ak., the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
"That's my goal right now, and it would be great also because it's closer to home," he said.
A move down South would also be beneficial weather-wise.
"Last week it was hailing one day and 70 degrees the next," Bowden said. "You have to battle the elements, as well."
Bowden said he is hoping to get even more time on the pitching mound.
"They've moved me back to the closing role and I'm throwing about two innings, which gives me a better chance to work on more things," he said. "I just have to keep working hard and taking advantage of every opportunity I get."
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