In reaching the Virginia AAA baseball championship last season, South County hit 56 home runs, a staggering total for a high school team that played 29 games.
The Lorton team — and just about every other team in the country — likely will launch far fewer balls over the fence this season, now that the National Federation of State High School Associations has mandated use of bats with less pop than the old ones, a switch that some hitters liken to basketball players trying to shoot a ball through a narrower hoop….
The metal BBCOR bats act — and sound — more like wood bats, with a smaller “sweet spot” on the barrel, an area that Woodbridge 2010 All-Met Tyler Thomas figures to be about half the size of the previous bats’ sweet spot. That makes it more challenging to square up a ball and drive it. And when ball and bat do meet, a dull thud has replaced the perky ping of the old bats….
“An average hitter with a wood bat, he’d be toast,” said Mike Colangelo, a former Hylton and George Mason University player who spent parts of three seasons in the major leagues and now runs a baseball instructional business. “His parents would have to take out a second mortgage to pay for his bats.”...
Woodbridge Coach Jason Ritenour, whose team reached the state final two years ago, said he could count on one hand how many balls left the infield on the first day of tryouts at his school.