Record Strikeouts Take Place In NCAA Baseball

Editor/Collegiate Baseball

INDIANAPOLIS — The highest amount of strikeouts over the past 50 years of NCAA Division I baseball took place during the 2019 season, according to the NCAA Division I Baseball Statistics Trends report.

Compiled by Jeff Williams, Associate Director of Media Coordination and Statistics with the NCAA, the 2019 NCAA Division I Strikeouts Per 9 Innings for each team was a record 8.08.

It marks the first time in history the average has eclipsed 8.00

Each of the last five years have featured strikeout numbers that have gone over 7.00.

For the previous 45 years prior to 2015 (1970-2014), only twice have strikeout totals risen over 7.00, and that was in 1998 (7.07) and 1999 (7.12).

The strikeouts per 9 innings per game for each team the last five years include:

2015: 7.02
2016: 7.17
2017: 7.54
2018: 7.88
2019: 8.08

Interestingly, the first year of the low-seam ball was in 2015, the first year of this trend, and strikeout numbers have gone up every year since.

So there may be a correlation with the ball that is being used.

“There may be several things going on which is causing the high strikeout numbers in NCAA Div. I baseball,” said Butch Thompson, head coach at Auburn University.

Recognized as one of the elite pitching coaches in the game, he feels launch angles being taught at 23-35 degrees by hitting coaches and the use of the low-seam ball are definitely a factor. But there is much more involved with the staggering strikeout numbers produced the last five years in NCAA Division I baseball.

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