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NCAA.com | March 4, 2015

Flat-seam ball brings more HRs

INDIANAPOLIS -- The flat-seam baseball is having an effect on Division I baseball. The NCAA on Wednesday released statistical trends for DI baseball, comparing 2014 with 2015 through the first three weeks of the season.

The trends compared the use of the raised-seamed baseball that was used in 2014 to the flat-seamed baseball used in 2015. The biggest statistical change from 2014 to 2015 is an increase in home runs that is up more than 40 percent from 0.33 per game in 2014 to 0.47 per game in 2015.

However, additional home runs have not led to more total runs. As of March 1, runs scored in a game are up only 4 percent, and the batting average went from .263 in 2014 to .264 in 2015. This season, strikeouts have risen from 6.81 per nine innings in 2014 to 7.66 per nine innings in 2015.

Weather has also impacted schedules more this year than last year. On average, each team has played about one fewer game than the same point last year as weather has caused 252 fewer games played in 2015 compared to the same time last year.

2015 NCAA DIVISION I BASEBALL EARLY SEASON TRENDS
  Through March 2, 2014 Through March 1, 2015 Final 2014
TEAMS 296 295 296
Avg. Number of Games Played Per Team 9.72 8.90 54.8
       
BATTING      
Batting Average .263 .264 .270
Runs Per Game 5.07 5.29 5.08
Home Runs Per Game 0.33 0.47 0.39 *
Slugging Percentage .352 .368 .364
Stolen Bases Per Game 1.08 1.09 1.02
Sacrifice Hits Per Game 0.71 0.64 0.76
Sacrifice Flies Per Game 0.39 0.36 0.40
Percentage of RBIs from Sac Flies 8.79% 7.65% 8.74%
       
PITCHING      
Earned-Run Average 4.06 4.36 4.22
Strikeouts Per Nine Innings 6.81 7.66 6.48
Shutouts 192 156 1034
Pct. of D1 shutouts per D1 games pitched 6.67% 5.94% 6.37%
       
FIELDING      
Fielding Percentage .964 .962 .966 **
       
Averages are per game and per team. | * -- Record low for full season. | ** -- Record high for full season.
 

Notes:
• As of March 2, 2014, there were two teams that had not played any games (Brown, Central Conn. State). The 0 games for those teams is calculated in average games per team.

• As of March 1, 2015, there are five teams that have not played any games at this point (Central Conn. State, Fairfield, Massachusetts, NYIT, and Yale). The 0 games for those teams is calculated in average games per team.

• March 1, 2015, statistics also do not include three games involving Alabama A&M and Mississippi Valley which were not reported until well after the deadline. Those numbers are not calculated into the averages.

• Statistics do not include six reclassifying members.

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