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BATTER UP.

The Lincoln City creator of a new sports technology is hoping his speed bat will become a hit nationally. Former Taft High School baseball coach Dennis "Nemo" Tessicini always suspected that the warm-up bats used by students were too heavy. "I was sure that a lighter bat would decrease injuries and be a better training tool," says Tessicini.

Tessicini designed a lighter bat using the same metal in existing warm-up bats. He currently has a patent pending on the bat. The bat he's designed has had impressive results for students at Taft High School. After working with it for three weeks, students saw their batting speeds increase by 4.9 miles per hour. Members of a control group showed no improvement.

"Speed is crucial," says Tessicini. "There is only so much time between the ball leaving the pitcher's hand and hitting the catcher's mitt. The less time it takes a batter to swing the bat, the more time he or she has to read the ball, analyze the situation and make a good batting decision."

Bob Plantz, another retired high school baseball coach, is using the speed bat for his Keizer Courthouse baseball classes. "Using Dennis' bat, every kid in our class significantly improved his bat speed," says Plantz.

Tessicini hopes to make his bat widely available through retail stores later this summer. Already, a few Oregon retailers, such as Anderson Sporting Goods in Salem, Albany and Corvallis, are stocking the bat, and it's available through www.speedbat.com, online auctions and a baseball catalog. "A lot of people are interested in new sports technologies," says Tessicini. "They realize that better bats help build better batters."

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Author:Tylczak, Lynn
Publication:Oregon Business
Date:May 1, 2000
Words:276
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