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ST. PETERSBURG - You know those commercials for Chik-fil-A where cows urge people to "Eat mor chikin?" Northeast fans may want to start screaming "Use more chicken" when Josh Bowman is on the mound.
Last week when the Vikings (13-14) beat favored Boca Ciega in the Class 5A-11 semifinals, the senior right-hander experimented with the "chicken finger changeup" he learned from former coach Roman Johnson.
Bowman, loaded with a curve, four-seam and two-seam fastball, added the speciality pitch, which tails away and down from right-handed hitters, to his regular circle changeup, which dives down and into righties.
"We were just messing around during a rainy day a couple weeks ago and I just started throwing it as a joke, " said Bowman (3-2), who pitched in his third game since returning at the beginning of April after a monthlong layoff. "I threw (the chicken changeup) in the bullpen before the game and it was nasty. When I tried it in the game, we got some bad swings on it and we decided to go ahead and keep using it."
Bowman, who had lost to Boca Ciega in his second game back, confused the Pirates throughout the night, striking out 12 while walking only one in the complete game.