STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior pitcher Ricky Bowen has become the second member of MSU's 2009 baseball team to sign a professional baseball contract.
Bowen, from Jasper, Ala., has signed with the Cincinnati Reds and reported to Billings, Mont., where he will begin his professional baseball career with the Billings Mustangs in the Pioneer League.
Bowen was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in 43rd round of this year's First-Year Player Draft. The Reds also drafted Bowen in 2008.
After sitting out the 2006 campaign as a redshirt, Bowen notched five wins, five saves and a staff-leading 3.00 earned run average en route to 2007 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors. He moved into State's starting rotation in 2008, leading the Bulldogs with 73.1 innings pitched and 64 strikeouts. He posted a 2-3 mark with an 8.44 ERA in 2009 and finished his three-year collegiate career with a 10-11 record, a 6.55 ERA and five saves.
A four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection, Bowen earned national pitcher of the week recognition in March 2008 after registering his first career complete-game and coming within an out of a no-hitter in State's 4-0 win over instate rival Ole Miss.
Following the 2009 season, senior outfielder Grant Hogue of Hattiesburg, Miss., a 35th-round draft pick of the Houston Astros, signed a professional baseball contract and launched his pro career with the Greeneville (Tenn.) Astros in the Appalachian league.