So why not just use the wood?
Our latest SimmonsField.com "You Make the Call" poll (in the left-hand sidebar) lets you express your opinion.
■ Wood becoming most logical bat answer (rivals.com)
“I think the cost factor is the main reason we haven’t gone to a wood bat,” Serrano said. “It’s a cost factor because you have to think about how many bats college teams will go through in a year. MLB is always going to get the best wood and there’s a chance we’d be stuck with the second-tier wood. Getting lower grade wood really wouldn’t be good for our game.”
■ Division II Baseball considering wood bats (collegebaseball360.com, May 2010)
Most quality metal bats cost $300 and up, Brunk said. A good wood bat costs between $25 and $50. He said most college players will not go through enough wood bats in game competition to equal the investment in metal. Further, those who are worried about breakage can use composite bats in batting practice, thus extending the life of the wood bats.■ Top coaches prefer metal over wood (espn.com, June 2010)
Flagler head coach Dave Barnett is certainly among those coaches concerned about cost. He believes wood would be cheaper.
“I bought two bats this year, one for $399 and one for $369,” said the longtime coach of the Peach Belt Conference school. “I gave the guys a catalogue and said, ‘I can buy two bats – pick them.’
“There are cheaper bats, but none less than $300, and no one is buying a $300 bat these days. Players bring their own, and they last only one year (because) they lose their velocity. Kids get new bats every year. So don’t tell me that wood bats are going to be a cost issue.”
According to an Associated Press survey of 24 coaches whose programs have won 1,000 or more games since 1985, 17 said they preferred aluminum and that there was no need to study the possibility of going to wood bats.
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Proponents of metal argue that all 301 Division I programs play with the same thing and there's no risk of having top programs playing with better wooden bats, potentially skewing the results. They also like the scoring boost and say a $300 aluminum bat can last an entire 56-game season, while $100 wooden bats can break at any time.