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Baseball: West Forsyth's Bowen Bock commits to Kennesaw State
West Forsyth baseball player Bowen Bock
West Forsyth's Bowen Bock looks to Wolverines head coach Mike Pruitt in-between pitches against Forsyth Central during the 2017 season. - photo by Brian Paglia

Bowen Bock didn’t pitch much for the West Forsyth baseball team this past season, just 2 2/3 innings. He didn’t have to. The Wolverines got 162 2/3 innings from seniors who led the team to its first state playoff series victory since 2009.

But Bock has been pitching a lot since the high school season ended with his Game On Stealth travel team. This week, he was in Arizona for a tournament, sure to throw plenty more.

And the day before he hopped on a plane headed west, Bock’s recent stretch of pitching produced a fortuitous development: the rising senior verbally committed to play for Kennesaw State University.

“I had a couple schools looking at me here and there,” Bock said, “but Kennesaw State stuck with me all summer. It’s close to home, it’s a good school, it’s a good baseball program. I couldn’t see a better chance.”

Bock was a role player for the Wolverines this past season. The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder can pitch and play in the field, but he contributed mostly as a designated hitter/outfielder for West. In 26 games, he hit .178 (8-for-45) with two doubles, a triple and six RBIs.

“I took on the role as an outfielder and hitter, and I had no problem with that,” Bock said. “But this summer I saw my opportunity to play in college on the mound.”

Bock said the transition back in to pitching on a more full-time basis took a couple weeks. The hardest part was getting his arm back in condition, and he employed West teammate and rising senior catcher Indiana Stanley to help. The two threw often soon after the Wolverines’ season.

“He’s always been the one to push me to make me a better person and better player,” Bock said. “We always work together.”

Gradually, Bock’s velocity returned, then the ability to locate his pitches. Kennesaw State saw it all on display in a tournament at LakePoint, and Bock and the Owls coaching staff started to communicate in the ensuing weeks.

By early July, Bock had a scholarship offer. By Monday, he was ready to commit.

“I really liked the campus, and I liked all the coaches, and I liked where the program was heading,” Bock said. “Kennesaw State has been on my radar the past couple of years, so it was exciting to be on their radar.”

Now, Bock figures to be on more opponents’ radars entering next season. His role should increase dramatically next season as West replaces 12 seniors, including all those pitchers.

Bock is getting ready.

“I take this summer and fall to prepare to take on a role as a big pitcher this senior year,” Bock said.