The 19th overall pick of the Cincinnati Reds in the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft out of Louisville (Ky.) Ballard High School, Sowers registered his best Southeastern Conference outing of the season Sunday (4/28) at home against Mississippi State. Sowers recorded a seven-hit complete-game shutout against the Bulldogs, giving up only one walk while striking out eight. It marked Vanderbilt's first nine-inning complete game shutout since 1996 (Phil Haigler vs. Kentucky 4/26/96).
With the eight strikeouts against the Bulldogs Sowers now has 75 punchouts on the year and has moved into third place all-time for strikeouts by a Vanderbilt freshman pitcher. Sunday he moved past former Commodore and later Southern California Trojan Mark Prior (71 strikeouts in 1999) for the third position. Prior won the 2002 Golden Spikes Award (college baseball's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy) and was chosen by the Chicago Cubs as the No. 1 pick in the 2002 Major League Draft.
Sowers leads all Vanderbilt pitchers in wins (five), ERA (4.09), complete games (two), innings pitched (77.0) and strikeouts (75). Updated SEC statistics released Monday will have him ranked among the conference's top four pitchers in strikeouts and batters struck out looking.
Sowers will pitch again this weekend in Vanderbilt's three-game SEC series at Auburn. He will make his final home start against the SEC in two weeks against Kentucky (May 10-12).