This season, baseball fans may have noticed shorter games at Big 12 ballparks.
The Big 12 announced on Tuesday that its conference games lasted an average of 3 hours, 4 minutes in 2018. That was 13 minutes shorter than the length of the conference clashes in 2017.
An experimentation with a pitch clock was credited by the Big 12 for this season’s shorter games. Depending on circumstances, between 15 and 20 seconds were allowed between pitches.
After an initial warning, a ball was assessed for any addition infraction by a pitcher. (Batters were given a strike if they were not in the batter’s box by the clock’s five-second mark). In 103 games, lagging pitchers and batters were punished with six balls and two strikes. Thirteen warnings were issued to pitchers.
In a press release, the Big 12 said that unless “the NCAA baseball rules committee makes an adjustment in the pitch clock, the Big 12 will likely request to continue the experimental rule in 2019 to gather more data.”
Including its two-game stay at the Big 12 tournament, UT’s 26 games against Big 12 opponents lasted an average of 3 hours, 1 minute. The longest game was a 216-minute game at Kansas State on March 30 that saw Texas score seven runs in the ninth inning of an 11-10 loss. On the opposite end of the spectrum, UT wrapped up a 4-0 win over Kansas on March 17 in 138 minutes.
Texas’ 28 games against Big 12 foes in 2017 averaged 3 hours, 11 minutes. In 2016, those Big 12 games were ordinarily 3 hours, 3 minutes. Three years ago, a run-of-the-mill conference contest for Texas lasted 3 hours, 9 minutes.
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