New bats changing offense in high school baseball

A variety of bats hang in the Jefferson City Jays’ dugout during a game last week at Vivion Field.

A variety of bats hang in the Jefferson City Jays’ dugout during a game last week at Vivion Field. Photo by Kelley McCall.

A fondness for Lions Field in Westphalia depends on whether you’re a pitcher or a hitter.

At a cozy 300 feet down the lines and 315 to center, the park can be a nightmare for a pitcher as what look like routine fly balls off the bat can turn into home runs. But with a change in the bats used in high school baseball this season, pitcher’s thoughts may go from “Oh, no” to “OK.”

“A lot of balls that normally would have carried over won’t now,” Fatima coach Scott Kilgore said, whose Comets play their home games at Lions Field. “It will change the game, the scores will be a lot closer, or at least lower.”

A change by the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHSA) requires Missouri high school baseball players to use a different type of bat this spring as a way to increase player safety. In short, the requirement makes the aluminum bats act more like wood.

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