Bourne Braves starting pitcher Bryce Stowell was hooked on baseball from the moment he was introduced to the game.
At a very young age, Bryce’s father showed his son the game we know as America’s pastime. From there, his son’s interest in baseball escalated into an addiction.
“In high school I played water polo too, but I’ve always played baseball,” Stowell said. “I just can’t get enough of it.”
He credits his successes in life and in baseball to his parents. One look at Stowell’s numbers this season and it’s clear that Mr. and Mrs. Stowell are deserving of a lot of credit.
Halfway through the Cape League season, Stowell leads the league with a frugal 0.36 earned run average through 36 innings pitched. What’s more impressive is that Stowell has scattered 10 hits while walking only five batters and striking out 31.
In his most recent performance, Stowell threw 8 1/3 innings, struck out eight and picked up the win, improving to 2-0. The outing earned him Coca-Cola Pitcher of the Week honors.
Of course, Stowell is no stranger to success on the mound, producing brilliant numbers as a redshirt sophomore this season for the Anteaters of UC-Irvine.
The 6’2", 205 pound righthander was a big reason for the Anteaters success this season, as he went 8-3 over 88 1/3 innings with 101 strikeouts. He helped lead UC-Irvine all the way to the NCAA Super-Regional, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion to the LSU Tigers in game three in a best-out-of-three series.
“It was crazy, I knew it would be intense,” Stowell said of his experience at LSU in the Super-Regional. “It was their last series at that stadium and they drew so many people. It’s hard to prepare for something like that; you could feel the crowd rocking in your chest.”
While Stowell and his UC-Irvine teammates couldn’t find a way to propel themselves past the Tigers, his Bourne teammates having been meshing together quite nicely.
They are currently in the hunt for the Western Division title. Bryce and teammate Nick McCully (Coastal Carolina), two of the Cape’s top starting pitchers this season, and have lead the way.
The Cape is certainly known as a pitcher’s league but facing the country’s top hitters day in and day out certainly can’t be easy, especially the second and third times through the lineup.
Stowell has kept hitters off balance with his quartet of pitches: four seam and seam seam fastball, slider and changeup. His fastball could certainly be classified as a radio ball—a pitch you can hear but can’t see—as it has been topping out at 96 MPH this season.
Born and raised in La Habra, California, he's a fan of the San Francisco Giants, but enjoys following and modeling his game after Red Sox flamethrowers Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon.
“I love the way they (Beckett and Papelbon) approach the game and the competitiveness they bring to the mound,” Stowell said.
Stowell also touched upon his love for sports films, saying The Natural, starring Robert Redford, is his all-time favorite. While the movie chronicles a seemingly washed-up player, Roy Hobbs, and his natural ability to crush the ball, the title of the movie is very fitting to describe Bryce’s persona as a pitcher—he’s a natural when it’s his turn to take the mound.
“I’m hoping to pitch as long as I can,” Stowell said of his plans after college. “My experience this season in Bourne has been second to none.”
Stowell was a 22nd round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians in this June’s amateur draft, but plans to return to Irvine in the fall for his junior season.