The adjustment from aluminum to wooden bats can be painful and costly.
And not just in the pocketbook.
Batting averages usually take a dip as players learn how to hit without metal.
That's where Cameron Edman may have an advantage over some of his Atwater Aviator teammates.
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Edman used wooden bats for two years while playing at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore. , before redshirting at Gonzaga University this spring.
Edman crushed a three-run homer and later added a double to lead the Aviators to a 12-2 win over the Merced Volunteers on Tuesday night at Merced College.
"I tried to practice with wooden bats once in a while this last year at Gonzaga, too," Edman said. "It's a challenge.
"Wooden bats are weighted differently. It can change your swing."
The Aviators (5-1) struck first with a two-run double by Nick Morreale in the top of the first inning.
However, the Vols (2-5) answered back with a run-scoring single by Connor Oldcorn and an RBI groundout off the bat of J.C. Barcelo in the bottom of the first inning. The game stayed that way until Atwater pushed across three runs in the fourth inning. Jack Alvord highlighted the rally with a two-run triple.
Edman then provided the big blow during a six-run fifth inning with his three-run blast over the left-field fence.
"I haven't really clicked yet this summer," Edman said. "I haven't found my groove.
"I worked with our hitting coach (Glenn) Nobbe before the game today. I just tried to clear my head and see the pitch. I got a good piece of it."
The Aviators pounded out
15 hits, including four hits from David Rohm.
"We hit the ball well tonight," said Rollo Adams, who coaches both teams. "I figure 10 games in and we should be stinging the ball even better."
The two teams will play against tonight at Memorial Ballpark in Atwater at 6:30 p.m.