College Notebook: Lynn’s Bowden settling in at Vanderbilt

Ben Bowden had his collegiate bar set pretty high last year as the Vanderbilt Commodores won their first College World Series title in his freshman year. Bowden threw just one pitch in that series, but it got Vanderbilt out of an inning with two runners on in the second of the three-game series.
This season the 6-foot-4-inch left-hander has made 19 appearances ? third-most on the team – posting a record of 5-1 with two saves and a 3.10 ERA. In 29 innings he has recorded 35 strikeouts with 23 hits and 11 walks.
Bowden graduated from Lynn English in 2013 when he was the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year. For Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin, there is much that Bowden brings to his team.
?An infectious personality, that?s for sure,” Corbin said. “He?s very competitive. He?s competitive in all facets of his life. He?s got a fun way about him. He?s fun to joke with. He?s got a quick wit He loves to get into conversations about a lot of things. He?ll challenge your thinking, for sure, but he does it in a respectful way. I love what he brings. He?s a positive kid. He?s got a lot of life and personality to him.”
Corbin has also seen the steps Bowden has made ? both on the field and off — this season.
?I just think the overall maturity that is common with kids who?ve been here for a year and a half,” he said. “I think the fact that where he?s from, the baseball, the environment is so much different. You?re talking about a near-Ivy League situation academically, which he had to make an adjustment to, and he has. He?s done relatively well and the baseball was completely different, from a training aspect, how to set up hitters, to attacking hitters, to strengthening his arm, to pitch development and so on?You?re competing at a higher level academically and athletically and socially. It becomes a little bit of a transition, and one that he?s done quite well to be honest with you.”
The Commodores, 37-16 overall, lead the Southeastern Conference at 18-9 heading into a three-game series beginning Thursday at Alabama.
?It?s going good right now. We?ve come a pretty good way since the beginning of the season as a team,” Bowden said.
His personal goals going into the season were simple.
?The only goal I really set was just to try and pitch well,” he said. “There were no statistical goals or anything. My goal was just to pitch well, and whatever role they put me, whether it be late innings, middle innings, I?m just trying to pitch to give my team a chance to win just like every other guy on the team.”
Bowden has worked solely out of the bullpen at Vanderbilt. Whether that is his ultimate role remains to be seen.
?He probably could be a starter for us in the future,” Corbin said. “It really depends on his skill enhancement and how he develops his pitches. If he?s able to throw three pitches and he can command them, then his pitching life, so to speak, could change, could move to a starter role.”
Bowden is content with his role.
?I really don?t mind either way,” he said. “I enjoy being in the bullpen, but then I haven?t had a college start yet so I don?t know what it?s like to start at the college level. But obviously in high school I enjoyed starting so I don?t really have a preference. Just get on the mound and try and help the team win.”
Bowden will be back in the area this summer, playing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League. But not before his Commodores defend their title.
?It?ll be good to get back home,” he said. “Not too soon, though. I want to play this season for a while.”
Names and notesSalem?s Ben Sattiewhite, a freshman at Fitchburg State University, was named to the MASCAC men?s outdoor track and field weekly honor roll. He placed 13th overall in the high jump (6 feet 4.4 inches) at the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association (NEICAAA) Championships, qualifying for the ECAC tournament?Endicott College softball sophomore second baseman Julia McNeill was named t

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