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BRIEFLY : CHANGES APPROVED FOR ALUMINUM BATS.

Byline: - Daily News Wire Services

NCAA baseball officials approved rule changes designed to cut the performance of aluminum bats, even though the NCAA faces a $267 million lawsuit filed by bat maker Easton Sports Inc.

The 20-member NCAA executive committee is scheduled to make a final decision on the proposed changes Wednesday in Chicago.

Easton, the leading maker of aluminum bats, sued the NCAA on Friday, alleging unlawful restraint of trade after it unveiled the proposal to change the specifications of bats.

The rules committee recommended that bats can't produce batted-ball speeds of more than 93 mph. Previously, there was no limit, allowing manufacturers to produce bats that could make a ball travel more than 110 mph when hit.

The committee also recommended that a bat's diameter not exceed 2-5/8 inches, a decrease of -1/8-inch from the previous allowable diameter.

The move comes after several pitchers in recent years have been seriously injured by line drives off aluminum bats.

BASKETBALL: The NBA sent out a strong signal that the lockout could last for months, announcing that season-ticket payments will be refunded with interest if the work stoppage forces the cancellation of games.

Season-ticket holders, most of whom already have paid for their seats for the 1998-99 season, will receive 6 percent interest on their money if regular-season games, which are due to begin Nov. 3, are canceled because of the lockout. Refunds would be made at the end of each month.

Holders of single-game tickets will be entitled to a refund or a rain check.

BOXING: Mauricio Martinez of Brooklyn, N.Y., stopped Marcos Badillo of Mexico City in the 10th round to win the vacant NABO bantamweight title at the Pond in Anaheim.

Martinez, weighing 118 pounds, improved to 12-3-1 with seven knockouts. Badillo, 117-1/2 pounds, fell to 12-4 with five knockouts.

In a 10-round super-bantamweight bout, Israel Vazquez won a unanimous decision over Juan Manuel Chavez. Vazquez won every round but was never able to floor Chavez.

HOCKEY: Mark Recchi of the Montreal Canadiens received the highest arbitration award in league history, getting a one-year deal worth $4.5 million. The right wing, who had been seeking $24 million over four years from the team, will become an unrestricted free agent after the season unless the two sides agree to a long-term deal.

Jack Ferreira, who was replaced by Pierre Gauthier as the Mighty Ducks' general manager last week, has accepted another position with the team - vice president of hockey operations.

HORSE RACING: Jockey Jacinto Vasquez was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., with trainers Bill Mott and Ansel Williamson, as well as thoroughbreds Riva Ridge, Bayakoa and Fort Marcy.

Vasquez rode for 38 years before retiring in 1996 as the 15th all-time leading jockey.
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 11, 1998
Words:470
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