Starting in 2015, the NCAA Tournament will use a new, flat-seam baseball in attempt to boost power numbers. Conference aren’t required to adopt the new ball next season, but it’s assumed most will.
An NCAA study revealed the new ball, which is similar to a Major League ball with a seam height of .031, travels 20 feet farther on average than the current .048-inch-seam ball. The study also found the ball doesn’t increase exit velocity off the bat, but instead creates more of a drag effect when the ball is in the air.
Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday said this might be the best way to change power numbers that became watered down after the switch to less potent BBCOR bats. Eighty-seven percent of Division I coaches supported the switch.
OSU outfielder Zach Fish said both changes are for the best.
“I understand why they (changed the bats),” Fish said. “Hopefully this new ball will be the best alternative so we can see some more home runs, because that’s what everybody likes to see.”
Sheldon Neuse plays infield in addition to pitching for OU, but he is still on board with the idea of bringing power back to the game.
“I like it,” Neuse said. “I think the ball is going to travel more, and it will help us prepare for the next level by getting it as close as possible.”