If a game is tied after nine innings this season, instead of playing into the 10th, the Boise Hawks will have to enter a fierce home run shoot-out to decide who wins.  

No stress, right?  It's hard enough to hit a home run during a regular at-bat, and now the pressure will really be on with the game on the line and a win or a loss potentially coming after one swing of the bat.   This season, if a Boise Hawks game is tied after 9 innings, instead of extra innings a "Knock-Out Rule" will kick in, and both teams will be part of a sudden death home run duel.

The Pioneer League said under the new rule, "each team designates a hitter who receives 5 pitches, with the game determined by the most home runs hit. If still tied after the first “Knock Out” round, another hitter is selected for a sudden-death home run face-off until a winner is declared."  It's like a home run derby, but with more than bragging rights riding each big hit.  Hit a homer and win; don't hit a homer and lose.

This is going to be way more fun than extra innings, as long as the Hawks win of course.  We'll love the new rule if it works in our favor.  The reason behind the rule change is to preserve the pitching staff and avoid sending those valuable arms through inning after inning in a tied game because that messes up the manager's plans for the next game.  The league wants pressure on the hitters instead.

The Hawks start their season Wednesday, May 26th at home against Grand Junction.  My girls and I are huge baseball fans and we can't wait!  Here's hoping the Hawks will be so far ahead in each game that they will never be in a home run duel.  Go Hawks!

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