New rules regarding the performance of composite-barrel bats are cutting down the number of home runs and putting pitching and defense back into college baseball. With a little more than a week to go in the regular season the nine Iowa Conference baseball teams have combineds to hit 68 home runs. A year ago, there were 213 home runs league-wide.
Buena Vista coach Steve Eddie says the true power guys are still hitting home runs, but the smaller guys are no longer hitting them. He says the game is truer now and hitters get what they deserve, and that’s all that anybody asks for. Eddie says the games are going quicker, they’re more competitive and the better team usually wins.
As a league, the earned run average is down about two points from last year and Coe’s ERA of 2.88 in league play is the lowest in 15 years according to coach Steve Cook. Cook says the game will shift from an offensive game where good pitchers had a 4-run ERA, where that lowers and the pitching stats get better.
Cook also likes the changes and feels college baseball is a better game this season. He says defense and making plays has become more of a premium. There are more bunt and hit and run plays, and he says it spreads things out so there is pressure on all aspects of the game and makes it more well rounded.