Speed-up rules impacting college baseball, too: Here's how the New Mexico Lobos feel about it - Albuquerque Journal

Speed-up rules impacting college baseball, too: Here’s how the New Mexico Lobos feel about it

Speedier baseball games have arrived at college diamonds in 2023. They’re a hit with the University of New Mexico Lobos.

The pitch clock era is getting its first official at-bat with NCAA teams this season. Game times are down, technology is changing, and the Lobos have handled the transition with relative ease.

New Mexico (15-8, 5-3) hosts San Diego State (7-13, 4-3) for a Mountain West Series beginning Friday and fans who have not yet attended a game this season should expect a brisk, no-nonsense pace.

“I love it,” UNM coach Tod Brown said of new NCAA rules designed to bring the college game in line with its professional counterpart.

“Even before the pitch clock, I’ve coached every team I’ve had to play fast,” Brown added. “Guys can adjust to it and it makes for a better game.”

Under the new rules:

■ Pitchers are allowed 20 seconds between pitches. A ball is charged if they fail to deliver in time.

■ Batters have 10 seconds to get settled in the batter’s box from the time the pitcher receives the ball in the mound area. A strike is called if they’re not ready to hit.

■ Teams have two minutes between half-innings to get on/off the field and prepare to start the next turn at-bat. A ball or strike can be called if a team is not prepared to start on time.

Umpires have called a few automatic balls and strikes in UNM games this season, but they have not been frequent, Brown said. Much more common have been shorter baseball games.

Last season, for example, more than half of UNM’s 54 games lasted more than three hours. All three games of a MWC series against San Jose State surpassed 3:30, including a season-long 17-16 UNM loss that took 4:19 to complete.

This season, only six of UNM’s 23 games have reached the three-hour mark, including two extra-inning affairs. The Lobos have completed 10 games in 2:30 or less.

“That’s how it should be,” UNM reliever Brian McBroom said. “I’ve always pitched as fast as I can, so I don’t even really notice the clock. Other guys can adapt. It’ll be fine.”

The new system is not without its issues. NCAA pitch clock rules are being enforced this season but schools will not be required to place visible clocks in their ballparks until 2024.

UNM has a clock posted behind home plate. Nevada, where UNM played last weekend, does not have a visible pitch clock.

“That makes it tricky,” Brown said. “Only the umpires know how many seconds are left, so players just have to hustle. I’m surprised they put the rule in before visible clocks were required.”

UNM catcher Jake Holland generally likes the faster pace of play, but he said pitch clock rules can be manipulated. Pitchers can get set quickly and either force the batter to “freeze” for several seconds after he gets ready to hit — or they can attempt to quick pitch a batter.

“You can’t call time or it’s a strike,” Holland said, “so that part’s pretty annoying, It kind of works against the hitter.”

The Mountain West also tweaked its rules this season, adding a 10-run mercy rule for Sunday conference games. The mercy rule can be used for home non-conference games if both coaches agree in advance.

Coaches can also agree to put automatic “ghost” runners on second base to start extra innings if a game is tied after nine. Ghost runners have not been used in UNM’s two extra-inning games this season.

NOTES: UNM continues to lead the NCAA in team batting average at .343. LSU (.339) ranks second. … Third baseman Dylan Ditzenberger ranks third nationally in hitting (.473) and has an 18-game hitting streak and a 36-game on-base streak dating back to last season. … SDSU has won its last five games against UNM and eight of its last nine.



San Diego State at New Mexico, 6 p.m., themw.com. Games also are on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at noon at Santa Ana Star Field

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Speed-up rules impacting college baseball, too: Here’s how the New Mexico Lobos feel about it

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Trump charged over classified documents in 1st federal indictment ...
ABQnews Seeker
MIAMI (AP) -- Donald Trump said ... MIAMI (AP) -- Donald Trump said Thursday that he has been indicted on charges of mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate, igniting a ...
Security guard accused of stabbing resident at West Side ...
ABQnews Seeker
The man alleges he was staying ... The man alleges he was staying at the Westside Emergency Housing Center when he was stabbed three times by a contracted employee.
New Mexico rolls out education campaign for recreational marijuana ...
ABQnews Seeker
The first batch of billboards is ... The first batch of billboards is now going up around the state while TV, radio, print and digital advertisements will be running through the ...
In the green: Restaurant inspections for May 27 - ...
ABQnews Seeker
Every restaurant was in the green ... Every restaurant was in the green in the May 27-May 21 restaurant inspections, including Smith's on Eubank.
State judge upholds NM secretary of state's authority to ...
ABQnews Seeker
A state judge on Thursday rejected ... A state judge on Thursday rejected a challenge to Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver's authority to determine whether New Mexico laws targeted for ...
Northbound I-25 closed at Jefferson after person fatally struck
ABQnews Seeker
Northbound Interstate 25 was shut down ... Northbound Interstate 25 was shut down at Jefferson Thursday afternoon after a driver fatally struck a person on the highway.
Crews work to extinguish fire in the Sandias
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque residents may see some smoke ... Albuquerque residents may see some smoke on the westside of the Sandias as crews work to extinguish a fire in the Upper Bear Canyon ...
Colorado's most destructive wildfire caused by embers from old ...
ABQnews Seeker
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Embers from ... BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Embers from a smoldering scrap wood fire set days earlier outside a home used by a Christian religious communal group ...
Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance, CBRE highlight metro area’s diverse ...
ABQnews Seeker
"This report, updated annually, has become ... "This report, updated annually, has become one of our top economic development publications used to articulate our value proposition and market the region to ...