Maybe you recall hearing about those new bats mandated this year by the NCAA. You know, they’re still made of aluminum, but are dumbed down to be less lively, performing more like wooden bats. So what?
Well, many coaches believe the new bats have improved the game, restoring more of a balance between pitchers and hitters. It’s even changing coaches' strategies. Texas coach Augie Garrido says he plans to recruit faster players who can play defense and fewer big guys who hit the long ball.
And now we're seeing some actual stats attributed to the bats. A New York Times article listed these notable contrasts in Div. I between 2010 and 2011.
• Runs per game dropped to 5.63 from 6.98
• Homers per game fell from 0.85 to 0.47
• Batting averages went from .305 to .279
• ERA’s improved from 5.83 to 4.62
• With less offense, games this year were shorter by 19 minutes on average. Though some of that can be attributed to another new NCAA rule that limits time between half innings to 90 seconds, or 108 seconds for televised games.