Jeremy Dowdy debuts with Bristol White Sox
by By Tim Hayes / Bristol Herald Courier
Dowdy starred for an Appalachian State team that went 41-18 in 2012 and made a memorable run in the NCAA tournament.
“It was something else,” Dowdy said. “I think we just kind of caught fire halfway through the year. We realized we could play with anybody and started to click on all cylinders and kind of just rode the momentum.”
The 21-year-old Dowdy's potential pro debut was delayed at least a day as Bristol's Appalachian League game with the Bluefield Blue Jays on Wednesday night was postponed due to rain.
In a crowded BriSox clubhouse, Dowdy took a few moments to reflect on his time with the Mountaineers.
The Raleigh native hit .269 with three home runs and 38 RBIs as a senior and is one of three players in ASU history to appear in 200 or more career games.
His last few contests in an Appalachian State uniform were easily the most enjoyable. The Mountaineers posted wins over Virginia (5-4) and Oklahoma (6-5) in the regional round of the NCAA tourney before being eliminated by the Sooners.
“We came up one game short, but I mean for what it was, it was a heck of a ride,” Dowdy said. “As we talked about it after the season, it was probably the best season in Appalachian State history.”
The victory over heavily favored Virginia on the Cavaliers' home field was particularly gratifying.“That was a crazy game,” Dowdy said. “They packed that house for sure. We went in there and we weren't scared. We knew we could play with them and we played our game and came out on top. It was a heck of a weekend.”
Dowdy wasn't smiling as much earlier this month when he wasn't selected in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
“It was a little frustrating,” Dowdy said. “Kind of near the end I tended to just turn it off a little bit, hoping the free agent route would work.”
The Chicago White Sox did come calling and signed Dowdy to a free agent deal and assigned him to Bristol. He might have his own personal cheering section at some games since he's playing not too far from his college home.
“It's kind of cool being about an hour and 15 minutes from where I went to school,” Dowdy said. “I've still got some (teammates) up there this summer and hopefully, they'll be able to make the trip and come see me. It's worked out great.”
Nondrafted free agents usually have to produce big numbers to get noticed by the brass of the parent club, so Dowdy will have to overcome some tall odds. Then again, he did play on a college team that thrived in the role of underdogs.
“I've just got to take the chance I've been given and run with it,” Dowdy said. “I'm looking forward to it.”