Brainpower on display in B-Mets, Curve game
The Ivy League usually isn’t the first place you think of when it comes to professional athletes.
Sunday night, two pitchers from two of the world’s most prestigious universities took to the mound in the Curve’s 7-4 loss before 4,609 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Both of them were drafted in the same year.
The Curve’s Pat Ludwig (Yale) and Binghamton’s Matthew Bowman (Princeton), two right-handers, were both selected in the 2012 MLB draft.
Pat is the son of Richard and Katie Ludwig, and the Okemos, Mich., native was selected by the Pirates in the 10th round.
“I went all the way up until my sophomore year of high school and not even thinking about college ball,” Ludwig said. “It was my jayvee baseball coach that said, ‘Hey, I think you have enough talent, go ahead and give it a shot and see what the future holds.'”
The former Bulldog graduated with a degree in chemical engineering and had plans to take a job in the pharmaceutical industry, according to the New Haven (Conn.) Register.
He was second-team all-Ivy League his senior season with the Bulldogs, posting a 2.73 ERA.
Yale doesn’t offer athletic scholarships, and as a result, heading to New Haven wasn’t just a commitment on his part, his parents played a roll, too.
“They helped me a lot through college,” Ludwig said.
Bowman was picked in the 13th round by the Mets out of Princeton. He wasn’t bothered by being drafted, as long as he could finish his degree.
“When I spoke to the Mets, they said I could do two fall semesters in a row,” Bowman said, “as long as I could still graduate that wasn’t going to be a problem.”
Bowman comes from a highly educated family. His mother, Margaret Chou, went to Wellesley and is a doctor, and his father, William, is a Harvard graduate.
Bowman is from Chevy Chase, Md., and earned his degree in economics earlier this month. He didn’t realize that his mound opponent was also a fellow Ivy Leaguer until Sunday.
“We don’t exactly have a reputation for being great at baseball (in the Ivy League), so it’s very cool that two of us made it to the same level and faced off against each other,” he said.
Bowman was named second-team all-Ivy League at shortstop, batting .311 with 60 hits and 20 RBIs in 2011. He earned honorable mention the following year at the same position and pitcher.
Ludwig feels that Sunday’s pitching matchup is a testament to the kind of baseball talent that is in the Ivy League.
“It just makes me proud to stay that I am from the Ivy League and that there is legitimate baseball talent there,” Ludwig said. “We get overlooked a lot because, ‘Oh, they’re the smart guys.'”
Both players’ parents were excited for the opportunities they had ahead of them.
“It’s an investment, and they look at it and say that you got an opportunity to do what you love,” Ludwig said. “Chase it as long as you can. They’re super supportive of everything, and I can’t thank them enough for it.”
“They were both very happy about it,” Bowman said of his parents. They know it makes me happy, and they wanted me to continue it.”
As for how the two faired on the field, it was Bowman (6-5) who got the better of Ludwig. The B-Mets starter went seven innings, allowing two runs – one earned – on five hits and striking out nine as he earned the win.
Ludwig (0-3) dropped his third straight decision, going just three innings and giving up six runs on seven hits.
Key Player: B-Mets RHP Matthew Bowman allowed two runs – one earned – on six hits and nine strikeouts. He also had an RBI single in the second.
Key Play: Binghamton scored four runs in the second inning to take control.
Key Stat: The Curve have struck out an EL-worst 693 times (8.6 per game), including 13 more on Sunday.
How They Scored
Top 2nd: Ceciliani singled, scored on Taijeron double (0-1); Boyd singled, scored on Gronauer groundout (0-2); Taijeron scored on Bowman single (0-3); Bowman scores on Nimmo single (0-4).
Top 3rd: Ceciliani walked, scored on Boyd single (0-5); Boyd scored on Taijeron single (0-6).
Bot 3rd: Hanson reached on Boyd error, scored on Curry double (1-6).
Top 5th: Ceciliani singled, scored on Gronauer single (1-7).
Bot 6th: Garcia singled, scored on Allie single (2-7).
Bot 9th: Cunningham tripled, scored on Henriquez groundout (3-7); Henriquez scored on Brown double (4-7).