Dayton's Bowman set to play in Cape Cod League

Matt Bowman will have a chance to play with the nation's top collegiate players this summer as he's been selected to play in the Cape Cod League in Massachusetts.

The Cape Cod League is generally recognized as the nation's top summer collegiate baseball league. Bowman, a 2004 Dayton High School graduate, will play with the Orleans Cardinals. Bowman will be joined by University of Nevada teammate Shaun Kort, who will also play for the Cardinals.

"I'm pretty excited," Bowman said. "That league's got a lot of tradition. The competition's pretty good back there. It should be pretty fun."

Bowman, who will stay with a host family while playing in the league, will leave for the East Coast on June 9. Orleans will begin league play on June 14 and will play a 45-game schedule that will last through Aug. 7.

Bowman admitted that other than the league's tradition he didn't know much about it. This will even be the first time that Bowman has ever been to the East Coast.

"It's a real competitive league I know that," he said.

The Cape Cod League is a wood bat league, so pitching normally dominates. In fact, an average as high as .280 is considered to be outstanding in the league.

"You would be top of the league if you hit .280," Bowman said.

Part of what makes the Cape Cod League so special is it's charm. The fields range from something to be less than desired to Immaculate.

"I haven't heard that much about that," Bowman said. "I don't know what to expect."

Bowman is listed on the Cardinals' team Web site as an infielder, but he's versatile player who throughout his high school career has played several positions, including second, shortstop, third and the outfield. He hopes to receive the same chance with Orleans.

"I'm kind of used to that," Bowman said. "I'd rather probably prefer to play different positions."

Making Bowman's selection more impressive was the fact that he was actually chosen for the league last October after an entire 2007 season he virtually lost to injury.

"It took me by surprise," Bowman said. "It's awesome."

Another reason why the Cape Cod League is so prestigious is it averages more than 200 former players in the Major Leagues year in and year out. Orleans alone had 18 former players who began this season in the big leagues.

So Bowman, who will be a senior next season at Nevada, should have a chance to impress big league scouts this summer.

"Anywhere you play summer ball if you do well people are going to recognize you," he said.

Bowman hit .355 with four home runs and 36 RBI this past season for Nevada and was named to the all-Western Athletic Conference second team.

"It's a great honor," Bowman said.

Nevada advanced to the WAC Tournament championship round, losing to Fresno State 6-4.

"It was disappointing that we didn't go farther," Bowman said. "We had a great year. We won a lot of games. We played a pretty tough schedule."

And Fresno State beat No. 11 Long Beach State 7-3 in the NCAA Regional on Friday. "That's good for the WAC to see them win," Bowman said.

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