Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University and pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeye baseball team from 1971 through 1974.  He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league league umpire for seven years, working in the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA).  He has written for numerous websites and outdoor publications, and for the past ten years has served as a regular columnist and photo editor for Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press.  Widely knowledgeable on that period of American History, Fulks is a frequent speaker on the Civil War at local roundtables throughout the Midwest. He and wife Mindy have two grown children and live in Covington, Ohio.

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Our 2015 series on learning baseball from those who teach it best continues with this week’s feature on being offensively sound…from University of Dayton coach, Tony Vittorio.

In the last article that I wrote, I wrote about “cheat” count hitting.  Hitting with a count without two strikes on the hitter, a hitter is in a “cheat” count.  While in a “cheat” count, the hitter should put a swing worthy of a double on the baseball and stay in the middle of the field.  In this article I am going to discuss the approach to two strike hitting.

Whenever an offensive player has two strikes on him when he is in the box it is of utmost importance that he is in a position to move the baseball.  The best way to put yourself in a position to move the baseball is by slowing the game down.  The best way to slow the game down offensively is by getting your stride foot down early when you are hitting.  So, with two strikes we want our offensive players to get their stride foot down early.

Usually when hitting , you have two moving objects, the ball and your body.  When our stride foot is down early, we have eliminated our body moving. This allows just the ball to move.  Thus, with just one moving object we have just slowed the game down.  When we slow the game down we can see the ball deeper in the strike zone.  We can let the ball travel a little deeper.  Putting our stride foot down early will also allow us to control the barrel of the bat better.

Another way to slow the game down is to spread out in our stance and take our stride away.  Again, this will allow only one moving object, the baseball, which again will allow the hitter to slow the game down as well as get the ball a little deeper in the strike zone.

I am fine with our players using either one of these approaches when they have two strikes on them.  The main emphasis is ,that the hitter in the box slows the game down and lets the ball travel a little deeper in the zone.  Both of these methods will allow us to stay on the baseball better to be able to hit hard balls to the opposite side of the field.  We want a strike that is thrown with two strikes on us to be moved and put into play.

You see, as hard as we try to figure out this game, it is pretty simple.  The team that crosses home plate more wins the game.  With two strikes on you, swinging through pitches or taking a called third strike has no chance for error for the opposing team.  We want to move that baseball so we give our opponents a chance to make errors so we can cross home plate more then they do.  The two strike hitting approach will give a hitter a better opportunity to move that baseball

Either method will work.  Either get your stride foot down early or spread out into a no stride so you can slow that baseball down and let it travel a little deeper,  Try it, it will work.

Until next time………….

Tony Vittorio
Baseball Coach
University of Dayton

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