New baseball bats expected to change game - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New baseball bats expected to change game

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(WAOW) - Starting next season, high school baseball teams across the country will be required to use bats that meet the new performance standard, known as BBCOR.

But college teams started using the new bats last season and the differences are staggering.

"We actually had a 50 percent decrease in the number of our home runs hit this year versus last year," UW-Stevens Point head coach Pat Bloom said. "Overall, if you square up on the barrel, the ball's still going to go, you're still going to have your line-drive singles, you're still going to have your home runs. They just might not go as far and there definitely won't be as many."

In fact, home runs were down nearly 50 percent across the entire college level. But as power hitting decreases, coaches think there will be a bigger focus on fundamentals that will improve their entire team's offense.

"Actually, our team batting average was higher at the end of this season heading into the NCAA regionals than any other point in our program's history," Bloom said.

"The good hitters are still going to be good hitters, but the power numbers might be down a little bit," Wausau West co-head coach Jeremy Jirschele said.

The changes BBCOR bats have made at the college level have been drastic, but the difference could be even more noticeable at the high school level.

Many of the area's coaches think games will be much more competitive and blowouts will be a thing of the past.

"It will bring a total game back where you won't have a lot of lopsided games, probably," Marathon head coach Steve Warren said. "You'll have lower scoring games, probably. The emphasis is on defense and pitching and playing the game clean."

"I think it's going to be better baseball and a lot more fun baseball to watch, closer scores and stuff like that," Jirschele added.

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