When college baseball elected to make changes to the bats the sport was using in 2011, many coaches feared the changes were too drastic. The game was not quite at the level of gorilla ball in in the late 90s, but safety of pitchers and high scores were a concern, so the game switched to BBCOR bats and the scores have dramatically dropped.
The fact that changes may have gone too far the other way has been evident so far in 2014. Despite a season that is just four weeks old, there have been at least six Division I no-hitters.
Saturday saw not one, but two games that ended with zeros in the hit column.
Alabama used three pitchers to complete a 7-0 no-hitter over Mississippi Valley State, and Oregon State’s Jace Fry struck out 10 as he no-hit Northern Illinois. The trio of Justin Kamplain, Jay Shaw and Geoffrey Bramblet combined for the first no-no for the Crimson Tide since 1942.
Earlier in the week Miami’s Javi Salas tossed just the 23rd perfect game in college baseball history, as he struck out six in a 17-0 win over Villanova. It was the sport’s first perfect game since Virgina’s Will Roberts in 2011.
On Thursday BYU’s Kolton Mahoney threw the seventh no-hitter in school history against Nicholls State.
While the no-hitters are good for college baseball exposure, the lack of runs will only hurt the sport in the long run. Luckily ping ball fans don’t have to wait long for changes to be made. In October the NCAA voted change to a flat-seamed baseball that will boost offenses without bringing back the gorilla ball power numbers.
2014 College Baseball No-Hitters*
February 21, Reed Garret of VMI, 3-0 over Lafayette
March 1 Jake Stinnett of Maryland, 4-0 over UMASS
March 5, Javi Salas of Miami, 17-0 over Villanova
March 6, Kolton Mahoney of BYU, 5-0 over Nicholls State
March 8, Justin Kamplain, Jay Shaw and Geoffrey Bramblet of Alabama, 7-0 over MVSU
March 8, Jace Fry of Oregon State, 2-0 over NIU
*Let me know if you know of any no-hitters I missed. College Baseball isn’t the easiest sport to track.