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Montville's Bowens enters NCAA transfer portal, keeping future options open

TT Bowens is keeping all his baseball options open.

With that in mind, Bowens entered his name in the transfer portal earlier this week, essentially making him a college baseball free agent. He's already received serious interest from numerous Division I programs, including UConn.

Bowens, who recently completed his redshirt junior season at Central Connecticut State University, also may pursue a professional career instead of continuing on the college level.

His ultimate decision will depend on what happens in the Major League Baseball amateur draft on June 10-11.

A Montville High School graduate, Bowens made the transfer route an option after learning MLB cut the draft back to just five rounds.

"I still have a shot," Bowens said on Friday. "My main reason for entering the transfer portal was to make sure that I had a good backup option in case the draft didn't work out in my favor.

"If I didn't like what was presented to me, I'd have an opportunity to go play at a place that I could showcase my skills a little better and put myself in a better situation for next year's draft if it comes to that."

In just the few days since entering the transfer portal, Bowens has heard from UConn, Creighton, Penn State, Purdue, Arkansas and New Orleans as well as several smaller Division I programs.

Arkansas certainly knows all about the 6-foot-4, 235-pound first-baseman/outfielder. Bowens belted a three-run home run at nationally-ranked Arkansas in the 2019 NCAA tournament.

Bowens carried the momentum right into the New England Collegiate Baseball League, slugging a league best 16 home runs and league record 53 RBI while playing for the Mystic Schooners. His spring season at CCSU ended after 12 games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He's in no rush to pick a new college baseball home.

"Obviously, the draft is my main priority," Bowens said. "But if it doesn't happen, then that's when I'll definitely weigh options. A few scholarships have already been offered to me. I haven't made a decision. I made it clear to every school that I talked to that the draft is my No. 1 concern.

"A lot of them are very understanding. A lot of these schools have guys that they don't know if they're going to get drafted. So there's a lot of uncertainty. All schools that I mentioned are very, very interested in me and would love for me to go there and are all great schools and great options for me. I'm just excited to see how this plays out."

To help navigate his journey, Bowens is working with an advisor, Kenny Felder of Excel Sports Management. CCSU assistant coach Pat Hall introduced Felder to Bowens.

"He's definitely there to get me to the next level," Bowens said. "We both have the same goals in mind."

Felder also represents former UConn star George Springer, an all-star outfielder for the Houston Astros.

Bowens has reached out a few times to Springer for advice.

"It's definitely good to have someone from Connecticut who plays at the level that he does," Bowens said. "For him to take the time out of his day to reach out to me just to give me a few tips and advice is very meaningful. He's definitely someone, I guarantee you, that every baseball player in Connecticut looks up to and around the whole country."

Last fall, Bowens met one-on-one with "a bunch" of major league teams. He says he's built good relationships with a lot of Northeast scouts. He plans on talking to Todd Donovan, a pro scout for the Philadelphia Phillies and East Lyme graduate. Donovan's wife, Erin, taught Bowens in middle school.

If not drafted in June, Bowens would consider signing a free agent contract. He has two years of eligibility left in college.

"It's not going to be an easy decision," Bowens said. "Between my knowledge and the people that I surround myself with their knowledge, I think I'll be able to make the right decision whatever happens.

"I'm open to a lot of things. I'm prepared for any situation that's coming my way in the next few weeks, so I won't be surprised by anything. I hope not, at least."

g.keefe@theday.com

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