Mandated rule prevents harm to LaTech baseball players

This is the type of gear that players used to use on the baseball field.

Louisiana Tech maintain precautions to avoid dangers of baseball related head injuries.

Baseball is the American pastimes that has a standing tradition of exciting and illuminating thrills and chills to  those who watch it. The activity that once ranked above television, facebook, and video games continues  to shine at Louisiana Tech University. Tech baseball fans come out of the woodworks to fill up the 1,500 seat stadium to cheer on the Bulldogs.

Imagine  that you’re watching the game, and a player approaches the mound prepared to hit the ball, but when its thrown it hits him in the head. Therefore, causing the athlete to remain unconscious for several minutes.

It would have been a scary scene, but with the new NCAA-mandated rule on college bats, the potential risk of pitchers being struck by a ball is likely to be reduced.

The new Ball-Bat Coefficient of Restitution bats were altered after last season because of many complaints by collegiate coaches.

“As a result, the Bulldogs will produce more home runs and score more runs. However, the bats are still a huge difference than from two seasons ago. Tech has hit 19 home  runs this season after hitting just 28 last year,” said Kelvin Queliz, the baseball representative.

“I would definitely say that before, there was a definite possibility of getting hurt by the ball,”  one of the Bulldogs pitchers  Jamie Gilley said. “You could still get hurt by these, but I mean it was definitely a lot more dangerous before.”

The switch from composite barreled bats to aluminum bats ensures the safety of players and evens a playing field for the offense and defense.

College baseball has seen an explosion of offensive output, and to counter this, new bats must meet the newly introduced BBCOR standard.

“A lot of times, the bats were so powerful that if we make a good pitch, we do exactly what we wanted with the ball, [batters] wouldn’t get it all the way square or anything, and it would still go,” Gilley said.

But no more. Bulldog pitchers are seeing much more success on the mound this season.

“From a pitching standpoint, I guess we’re in favor of them,” Gilley said of the new bats.

But as predicted, the Bulldogs batting numbers have decreased slightly. Through the 2011 season, head coach Wade Simeoneaux’s squad batted 5.33 and though 61 games are batting 6.12 as a team for the first 25 games of this season.

“They challenge you a little bit more as a hitter to barrel it up,”  Gilley said. “You don’t get away with as many things this year as you would last year.

“You can’t let the bat affect you or your swing,” he added. “That’s when you start creating problems.”

Although the new bats have dipped into players’ batting averages and have improved pitcher’s ERA, the preparation and experience gained from these bats are valuable for their future careers in the majors.

“I believe these bats are actually allowing scouts to better predict the performance of the players at the next level because professional organizations use wooden bats,” said Queliz. “The BBCOR bats do not allow hitters to get away with the same mistakes they were allowed to get away with two seasons ago.”

Research has shown that there are several dangers that can be caused by playing baseball or any other sport but the fact that Louisiana Tech is being so precautious about the health and well-being of his athletes makes the Bulldogs that much more enjoyable to watch.

Written by: Winnie Sanders

Due to the new mandated rule, players are now using this BBCOR bats.


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