High School Notebook: Can it be used? It can drive you batty
Shopping for baseball bats isn’t as easy as it used to be for high school coaches. The Minnesota State High School League recently refined and reposted its long list of composite bats that are no longer legal to use in games.
Complicating the matter a bit is that some bats which are still legal this season will no longer be allowed beginning in 2012.
The illegal composite bats, which are produced by many of the major brands including Easton and Louisville, have been deemed unsafe by the National Federation of State High School Associations Baseball Rules Committee because the bats’ performance changes with continued use.
"The problem with these bats is that many of them have what is termed an ‘accelerated break-in period,' " explained MSHSL associate director Kevin Merkle, in a letter to coaches posted on the league’s website.
"That means the more you use them, the ‘hotter’ they get. As the get ‘hotter’ they no longer meet the BESR standards and thus become a safety issue."
Merkle also pointed out that this is the last year that any bat with BESR certification will be legal. Beginning in 2012, all bats must be labeled with the new BBCORE certification.
"Colleges are using these (BBCORE) bats in 2011 and are reporting that there is a significant difference," Merkle said. "They perform much more like wood bats."
To coaches who may have purchased new bats with the BESR label, Merkle advised, make sure that they are legal for this year and then realize that they can only be used for one year.
The MSHSL web site has links to the lists of bats that are legal and illegal for the 2010 season. Go to the baseball page and scroll down to ‘News’, and it’s the first couple of items.
— Donny Henn
It'll be Titles Tuesday at Target
One drawback in having the Minnesota state baseball tournament at beautiful new Target Field is the potential of a conflict with the Twins, and that’s the case this year.
The state quarterfinals and semifinals are on June 16 and 17, at various outstate locations for all three classes. But the champion games, all at Target Field, won’t be on the ensuing Saturday as in the past; they will be Tuesday, June 21.
The Twins are home that Saturday, June 18, against the San Diego Padres in a 6:10 p.m. game. The Twins close a 10-game homestand the next day against the Padres, and then exit Target Field for a six-game road trip beginning June 21.
Last year in the inaugural season of Target Field, the Twins were out of town on the weekend of the state baseball finals and the games were played on Saturday.
— Donny Henn
Lourdes looking good
That was an impressive win Monday by the Lourdes boys tennis team.
The Eagles, considered one of the top three teams in state Class A, had just enough to get past top-10 state Class AA team Century on Monday, winning 4-3.
Lourdes got wins at all the singles spots except No. 1, where standout Eric Fruehlurks for Century. The Eagles also got a win at No. 3 doubles from eighth-graders Nico Villarragaand Hadi Berbari, 6-1, 6-4.
It was quite a contrast to the last time Lourdes met Century. That was in 2009, with the Panthers blasting the Eagles 6-1.
"I felt like we could play with them this time," said first-year head Lourdes coach Steve Tacl, who was an Eagles assistant in ‘09. "Really, I go into every (dual) thinking we can beat anyone."
With the odds strong that his team would need at least one doubles win against Century, Tacl liked the chances that Villarraga and Berbari gave his Eagles.
They aren’t just any eighth-graders.
"They are big kids for eighth-graders," Tacl said. "They are both talented and up-and-coming guys who have emerged. They’ve got big serves and good hands. Plus, they work well together."
Lourdes’ singles wins came from Brian Utz, Kyle McGraneand Luca Farrugia. All won in straight sets.
— Pat Ruff