College baseball: Some coaches want livelier ball to help increase offense
Clemson coach Jack Leggett
College baseball is on pace to set a record for fewest home runs and a 40-year low for scoring and batting average. Now some coaches are calling for a livelier ball.
The switch to toned-down metal bats in 2011 has led to an offensive decline greater than many expected.
“The game isn’t the same,” Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. “It’s not as exciting.”
Leggett is leading an effort to adopt the ball used in the minor leagues. That ball has flat seams and a harder core, which he says makes it conducive to greater flight.
The NCAA’s midseason statistics report shows a per-team home-run average of 0.37 was on track to be the lowest since it was 0.40 in 1970, the first year the NCAA kept statistical trends. The midseason batting average of .270 and per-team scoring of 5.25 runs are the lowest since 1973, the year before the aluminum bat was brought into the college game.
“A lot of people would like to see more offense back in the game,” Iowa coach Jack Dahm said, “and the baseball would be a good way to add a little.”