'Incredible opportunity': Ex-COS pitcher Bowers signs with elite college baseball squad
Former College of the Siskiyous pitching standout Dylan Bowers will finish his final year of college eligibility at a program that went to the College World Series last season.
Bowers recently signed to play baseball for the University of Virginia. He was at COS in Weed for two years.
A native of Aurora, Colorado, Bowers signed with the Division 1 program at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) and was there for three years, but played for one season. This summer, he is a member of the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Summer League.
“I’m very excited,” Bowers said about playing his senior year at UVA. “I can’t wait to get on campus and carry on the tradition that UVA baseball has. It’s an incredible opportunity for me personally and I’m fired up to contribute to a program that is fresh off a College World Series run.”
In his sophomore year at COS in 2018, Bowers went 4-5 with 75 strikeouts and had a 3.49 ERA.
Bowers redshirted at Northern Colorado in 2019 due to injury. Then the team had its season cut short in 2020 due to COVID-19. In 2021, as a starting pitcher, he went 2-5 overall with 86 strikeouts.
Bowers said he entered the NCAA transfer portal to seek other opportunities for his last year, and UVA was one of the first programs to reach out. The portal is a database of players who are interested in transferring from their current schools.
“After hearing all the great things about their program and speaking to a few players, it was a no-brainer that I wanted to be a Cavalier,” he said.
The 6-foot-5 Bowers added that he had a positive experience at UNC.
“I am grateful to the coaching and training staff for putting me in a position to succeed and thrive,” he said. “I felt that it was best for my own career and goals to move on for my last year.”
COS head baseball coach Nick Thielman is proud of all that Bowers has accomplished.
“Dylan deserves every part of his success. It was no fluke,” he said. "He's a young man that our community here in Siskiyou County and at College of the Siskiyous should be so proud of. He represents us so well all over the country and was so proud to be an Eagle. He loved his time here at COS and I know he couldn’t be more thankful to have spent a small part of his journey in Weed, California.”
Bowers will bring a relentless attitude to improving his craft on and off the field for the Cavaliers, his former coach said.
“He will buy into any role needed and excel,” Thielman said. “He is the most driven person I’ve ever coached, and I have no doubt he will find success at UVA.”
Bowers said his goal as a Cavalier is simple: He wants to win the College World Series.
“That’s my top priority. Any personal goals that I have beyond that become a lot easier to achieve when you’re the team to dogpile in Omaha,” he stated.
Bowers said he cherished the time he spent in Weed playing baseball.
“COS overall just helped me mature as a person and as an athlete,” he said. “I built the base of my career at COS. It was a great opportunity for me to get away for two years and find my direction. I’m thankful for my time spent there. It was two of the best years of my life.”
He thanked Coach Thielman for all he did for him and said he still talks to him frequently.
“Nick has been the most impactful person in my baseball career and one of my closest friends and mentors in life,” Bowers said. “I’m extremely thankful for what our relationship has turned into after my time playing at COS. He's changed my life for the better, and although he rarely accepts it, I credit him for a lot of my success. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I’m at now without him.”
After all, he said, Thielman was one of only two coaches to offer him an opportunity to play in college out of high school.
“Five years later, I’m headed to one of the best programs in the country, and he’s been a huge factor in making it happen,” Bowers said.
Bowers said being a member of the Bourne Braves this summer has been a positive experience. The Cape Cod Summer League is considered by many to be the top summer collegiate league in the country.
"It's been an incredible experience here in the Cape,” he said. “I’ve wanted to play in this league my entire life, so to get the opportunity to was a dream come true."
The Braves have had one of the best statistical seasons in Cape Cod Summer League history, he said. As of Friday morning, they were 22-6-3 overall.
Bowers has thrown 11 innings with 15 strikeouts and four walks for a 2-0 record, and a stellar 1.63 ERA.
“He is such a humble person who has as big of a heart as anyone I know,” Thielman said about Bowers. “He’s so easy to root for, and I couldn’t be prouder to call him a former player of mine and now friend.”