Since 2014 we have been covering the success that collegiate baseball players have been having with their baseball bats. (2015 found there). Now, what bats are used in the 2017 College World Series?
We take a closer look at the 8 schools in the big dance and what sticks they like to swing below.
Interestingly, or so we thought, we observed that college players tend to prefer single piece aluminum bats. These bats bring with it a few important features. Although there were several notable exceptions, the general features of elite program bats centered on a few common characteristics.
- Hot out of the wrapper
- End Load
- Major Name Brand
- Aluminum Barrel
The Bats of the 2017 College World Series
Cal State Fullerton 2017 CWS Baseball Bats
With an upset win in the Stanford Regional, Cal State Fullerton, home of the Titans and elite collegiate baseball, made the college tournament for the 15th straight year. They made the CWS again but failed to win a game.
CSU is an Easton school. That is, they have an agreement with Easton to swing their bats. As such, you saw a lot of Easton Z-Core and Easton Z-Core white outs in the hands of Titan players.
The most popular get up was the Easton Z-Core white out with both a lizard skin and copious amounts of pine tar. As a single piece bat that is remarkably stiff it makes a ton of sense for an elite hitter with a good amount of strength. (Z-Core WhiteOut Review)
Florida State 2017 CWS Baseball Bats
Florida would win the Tallahassee regional and lose to LSU in the 2nd round of the CWS. All the while, with very few exceptions, swinging Louisville Slugger branded bats.
Florida State is a Louisville Slugger school. And, within that brand, most collegiate players prefer the stiff feel and hot out of the wrapper take of a single piece aluminum bat. Considering this is the least expensive premiere bat from Slugger, it is somewhat surprising that the best in the aluminum/composite game use the least expensvie permier bat. This should give many consumers some pause before dropping $400+ on a two piece composite.
In the end, strong and skilled hitters at the college level tend to like the honest feedback and direct power transfer of a single piece bat. And, if you are using Slugger, then 517 Omaha is it. Many Seminoles hitters were pictured using the new 518 and 718 too. See the Louisville team section below for more insight on those. (517 Omaha Review)
Oregon State 2017 CWS Baseball Bats
The Oregon State Beavers were one of a couple teams using DeMarini in the CWS. And although they were bounced a game earlier than a lot of their fans thought they deserved, the bats they used were HOT.
Demarini offers so many variations on their BBCOR bat line that it is difficult to keep track of what bats were and were not used. Throw in the fact that their custom options were all over the place with unique offerings to each school and we found it impossible to see what bat was actually getting used more.
In the picture above, for example, is that the CF Insane or CF Balacned? Is the other one the Voodoo One? The one we saw getting used most, at identifiably to us, was the bat in the background of the image above. That is the old Voodoo Overlord (we think).
Our point is Demarini offers a ton of BBCOR options for their players and it feels like each player walks up with his own unique bat. Our best guess in the CF Insane or the single piece Voodoo One was the most popular. But, honestly, who knows. (CF Insane Review)
Texas A&M 2017 CWS Baseball Bats
As an Easton School, Texas A&M used a lot of Z-Core bats in the 2017 CWS. Of some note, we found more of the 2016 model then of the 2017 model. That is, the green/black one we saw more than the black/blue one.
What we find most interesting in seeing what the best players on the best teams swing is that the bats are far from expensive. In fact, you can find the exact bat that Texas A&M swung most often (by our small sample size count) for well under $100. It is the HMX Z-core from Easton's 2016 line.
We could not always tell from the images, but we would guess they were using the Z-Core XL version as these kids are strong and want as much bat as possible. (Z-Core Review)
Louisville 2017 CWS Baseball Bats
In terms of bats, Louisville might be the most fun team to follow. They are in the hometown of the Louisville Slugger brand and, the fact they have they share a name, means they almost always getting the newest stuff.
Although a number of Louisville players used older models, several also used the newest stuff too. And, among those, the favorite was the 718 Select. As we discuss in our full length review, the 718 is back after a year long hiatus. But the 518 and 517 were also seen often at the plate.
We gather a significant reason for its resurgence is the need for high level college players who like hot out of the wrapper bats with a heavy swing. (718 Select Review)
TCU 2017 CWS Baseball Bats
TCU, now a perennial powerhouse in college baseball, used a ton of DeMarini bats this year. Like the Oregon State Beavers above, it is hard to keep track of what bats are getting used more often as the numerous color options and weight loads are tough to pick up on a TV feed.
But, we are confident that TCU used a ton of the CF Zen this year. More than likely that was the endloaded option, but several, we are sure, also used the balance. TCU's CF Zen's were custom sticks and often upgraded with remarkably dope graphics that got a bazillion likes on instagram and just about anywhere else.
The Zen was not the most popular across elite colleges as other schools appear to love single piece aluminum bats. But the DeMarini line excelled across the board in the BBCOR space for 2017. The fact 3 of the 8 teams in the big dance swing DeMarini must say something. (CF Zen Review)
Florida 2017 CWS Baseball Bats
Florida, who made the finals, is an Easton baseball bat school. And, like most collegiate players who are strong and like a wood like feel, appeared to favor the single piece aluminum Z-Core.
Although we could not tell from every at bat it appeared most bats were the 2017 Z-Core XL. Although, clearly, there were several other preferences too like the 2016 version HMX Z-Core and, we are sure, the balanced version of the 2017 Z-Core too.
As most college hitters get to spend considerable time in the weight room, it is no surprise they like the stiffer bats with a serious end load. Like the other bats on this list, regardless of brand that single piece aluminum with an end loaded swing is a mainstay on elite college programs. The Easton Z-Core XL fits that bill perfectly. (Easton Z-Core XL Review)
LSU 2017 CWS Baseball Bats
We are not sure there is any more team in the country pimped out in swag the LSU Tigers. Maybe it is the eye catching color scheme that allows creative directors at major sports retailers to be their best. Either way, DeMarini's agreement with LSU to make, among other things, their baseball bats has been one of the best things to happen to Instagram in a while.
In the same we we struggled with the Horned Frogs and Beavers up top, the identification scheme with DeMarin's BBCOR was a difficult task. LSU was given some custom bats too and the ability to see what bats they were from ESPN's feed was difficult.
But, with that said, we feel confident that the Voodoo Insane and CF Zen Insane were mainstays in the box of the LSU tigers throughout the CWS. These bats are the best represent the best in the business.
the CF Insane is a two piece composite with an end load and the Voodoo Insane is a two piece hybrid bat with an aluminum barrel and end load. They both serve as the marquee baseball bats for DeMarini. (Voodoo Insane Review)