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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

‘Ping’-less

Arizona baseball fans looking for a juiced bat, home-run-derby style of play will have to get their fix elsewhere.

A new NCAA bat regulation in effect this season will drastically reduce power hitting and turn college baseball into a more traditionally offensive-minded game.

The bat is surprisingly similar to the old in appearance, but the distinctive “”ping”” sound that one identifies with college baseball has been replaced by a softer, duller sound.

When head coach Andy Lopez had his team start to the new bats, he couldn’t shake the sound difference.

“”They just sound different,”” he said. “”They’re still aluminum but they sound real different. But you know if you leave a ball at the waist it’s still going to find a gap.””

Lopez joked that pitchers won’t be able to rest on their laurels if the hitting is drastically reduced.

“”If you make a bad pitch,”” He said. “”A guy could have a celery stick in his hands.””

Lopez did mention, though, that a 3-1 count is not the same as it’s been in the past and that the new bat offers more leeway for pitchers trying new things.

“”With 3-1 for the last 10 or 15 years you would have to hold your breath or throw a breaking ball or a changeup, you know, try to throw it behind the guy if he’s a great hitter.”” Lopez said. “”Now I think while you still can’t throw it at the waist … you can throw some fastballs and maybe get some routine fly balls or balls at the warning track.””

Outfielder Steve Selsky, who led the Wildcats in homeruns, 9, and batting average, .370, last season, has noticed that the chances of a player hitting the opposite field with a front foot home run will be almost nonexistent with the new bats.

“”You’re going to know who hits for power and who doesn’t, and who hits for average and who can put a ball in play with two strikes,”” Selsky said.

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