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Ever since the 1998 College World Series -- dubbed Gorilla Ball and culminating with USC's 21-14 title-game win over Arizona State -- college baseball increasingly has regulated metal bats.The Orange County Register:
Beginning this season, only bats certified to a new standard (Bat Ball Coefficient of Restitution) are allowed. The aim is for non-wood bats to perform like wood bats, with a similar exit velocity, both for safety of players and game integrity.
New bat regulations might prompt college coaches like Texas' Augie Garrido to pursue recruits with more speed and athleticism.
While the dampened bat power has center fielders pinching in and infielders adjusting to a ball flight delay off bats, just about everyone fears college baseball will loose [sic] its might. Some worry that the long ball will be long gone, that home run numbers will sink, extra-base hits drop as singles and slugging percentages turn, well, sluggish.
In a recent "Baseball America," Texas coach Augie Garrido lamented about how practice home run numbers are down about 75 percent, from 15 to 20 a BP to five or six, while Paul Mainieri, coach of the 2009 national champion LSU, reported fall intrasquad practice games homers dropping from 36 in 2008 to just six this past fall.