Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Bombs away

The last time we saw the Blue Wave baseball team, they were exchanging seven home runs with the Florida Gators in a 22-14 regional loss in Coral Gables.

Games like this are not unusual in college baseball. Why, you ask?

Aluminum bats. Yes, it is all about the bat in college baseball.

With aluminum bats, the ball takes off when contact is made. Even the average batter can get a hold of a pitch and send it flying somewhere into the outfield.

FAU saw plenty of balls traveling over the fence a year ago. The Blue Wave hit 71 home runs, with four players (Jeff Fiorentino, Matt Pali, Rusty Brown and Mike Cox) getting more than 10 each.

Home runs are not the only stat that show the power of the aluminum bat. The Blue Wave also accounted for 121 doubles, which shows that the ball was often found near the outfield wall when FAU was batting.

Major League Baseball has noticed this phenomenon and has never considered changing from wooden bats to aluminum. The wooden bat adds many disadvantages to hitting.

First, the wood can have many forms of defects and the ball will not bounce off properly if it hits one. More importantly, wooden bats have what is called a sweet spot, the hardest part of the bat. If a pitch hit the sweet spot, it would guarantee a home run for a powerful hitter.

The aluminum does not have this sweet spot. The whole bat acts as a sweet spot and contact is the only necessary ingredient to send balls raining over the fence.

With the Blue Wave sending bombs into the outfield, they scored 10 runs or more 21 different times, with two games scoring over 20. They came very close to getting 10 runs on 12 other occasions.

Pitchers know about the aluminum bats and try not to be scared of them.

Blue Wave pitchers did what they could a year ago, giving up only 32 home runs to the opposition.

This year could be different, because only one starter returns to the team. Randy Beam is that starter and his last plate appearance was a five-hit, one-run game against Miami.

After Beam, though, the pitchers for the Blue Wave could be in for a rude introduction to the starting lineup.

Beam seems unworried. “I know my team will score,” he says. “I just have to do my job.”

Coach Cooney believes in his pitchers. “This staff could be even better than last year,” he says.

The Blue Wave faithful will have to hold onto their hats, because if Coach Cooney is wrong there could be long nights at the FAU stadium with “bombs away” being the theme for all the games.

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