By Brent Huelsmann
With the new baseball season quickly approaching, the Nashville Hornets and coach Chad Malawy will need to get used to new rules that will take effect this season. The IHSA has adopted new pitch count regulations that will go into effect this season.
A pitch is defined as a pitch thrown during live play. All strikes, balls, foul balls, and balls put in play will count towards a pitcher’s pitch count. Warmup pitches, and pick-off attempts will not be counted as pitch. If a player reaches his pitch count during an at-bat the pitcher will be allowed to finish the at-bat.
During the regular season teams will be responsible for their own team’s pitches as well as the opponents. The two coaches will compare pitch counts after each even numbered inning. If any discrepancy in pitch count is found between the two coaches, the two coaches will split the difference, of the two numbers.
All schools must then report their pitch counts to the IHSA. During the postseason, the coaches will still keep track of their own pitch counts as well as the opposing teams, but the host school of the postseason game will also designate a person to keep track of pitch counts to verify each team’s pitch count at the end of even numbered innings. Full guidelines can be found on ihsa.org. The number of pitches a player throws in a given day will determine the amount of rest that player needs before his next pitching appearance
Hornets coach Malawy talked about how the new rules may affect the Hornets this season. “It’s just going to make us a little quicker with the trigger on pulling a guy. Sometimes we like to let a guy finish when he goes out in an inning, to get out of the inning and learn to work out of a jam. I think you’re going to see a lot more coaches pull a guy a little quicker than we normally would.”
As for how the Hornets will keep track of pitches, Malawy said, “We will have our game changer, our team manager will keep the book. We keep the game changer on the Ipad which is really accurate, that’s pitch by pitch, and then we do also do a official scorebook in the dugout. So we have both of those, and Steven (Kozuszek) has his own paperwork he uses as he calls pitches throughout the game to keep track of pitches. We’ve always logged those after a game anyway in our binder. We don’t ever extend a pitcher too much, and we always know exactly how many pitches a pitcher throws each outing, and really throughout the season, because it is all logged and kept in our pitching binder.”
Also Malawy noted the effect the new changes will have on the game in general. “Absolutely, you’re definitely going to see that. You’re going to see some big league baseball going on, where you’re going to see a lot of pitching changes, and unfortunately it might extend some of the game times which is not what we are looking to do, but I think you’re going to see more two or three pitchers and a lot less complete games by pitchers.”
By Brent Huelsmann