■ New bats are a hit, for some (NCAA.com)
Division I batting average, scoring and home runs per game in 2011 resemble the wood-bat 1970s more than they do recent years. Division I teams in 2011 averaged 5.58 runs per game, well off the record 7.12 in 1998 and below 6 for the first time since 1977 (5.83), which was just the fourth season of the aluminum bat in college baseball.
Home runs left parks at an average of .52 per team per game in 2011 compared with .94 last year and 1.06 in 1998 (also the peak year for that category). That resembles wood-bat days, too (.42 in the last year of wood in 1973, and .49, .50 and .55 in the first three years of metal).
Batting average in 2011 was .282, the lowest since 1976. Earned-run average, on the other hand, was its best (4.70) since 1980 (4.59).
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Games in the 2011 Division I championship (the only part of the season in which the NCAA statistics staff can practically track game times) took about 20 minutes less on average to complete than in 2010. The fastest game in the regionals last year in fact was 2:19, but in the 2011 regionals, 16 of the 101 games were completed in that time or quicker (including two games played in under two hours).