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Prep Baseball: New pitch count rules

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A new era begins for high school baseball in North Carolina today with the implementation of stringent pitch count limitations for hurlers.

Science and medical reports are on the side of pitch counts as the most reliable means of safeguarding the future of young arms. Coaches favor the move, but strategies will have to be tweaked.

“The pitch count rules definitely will change the high school game,” East Rowan coach Brian Hightower said. “But I think it could benefit us. For teams like Carson and West Rowan that have a lot of pitchers, it definitely could be a benefit.”

Who will be tracking pitch counts?

Coaches are responsible, and they’ll be filling out pitch count accountability forms, signing them, and entering them into the MaxPreps database.

The pitch count rules:

• Maximum pitches in one day is 105. A pitcher is allowed to finish pitching to a hitter if he reaches 105 during an at-bat.

•  If a player throws 76 or more pitches, 4 calendar days of rest are required before he pitches again.

• If a player throws 61-75 pitches, 3 days of rest.

•  If a player throws 46-60 pitches, 2 days of rest.

• If a player throws 31-45 pitches, 1 day of rest.

•  If a player throws fewer than 30 pitches, there are no required rest days, but if he pitches two days in a row, he must rest the next day.

• The only exception will be the state championship series, where teams often must play 3 games in a two-day span. Pitchers will be allowed to throw 120 pitches in the series.

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