Home sweep home for WVU baseball – The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Over the past few years, college baseball has become more technologically advanced.
As the sport of baseball becomes more enveloped with technology, teams adapt to stay at the top of their game.
One way baseball is changing, both at the professional and collegiate levels, is with the devices used to call pitches and relay pitch selection to the pitcher and catcher.
Teams in Major League Baseball are using a system called PitchCom, which is a keypad on the catcher’s wrist, and a wearable transmitter that is placed in the hat of the pitcher and select position players.
For West Virginia University’s baseball program, the advancement in pitch-calling technology is more modest. It comes in the form of a Walkie Talkie or microphone for skipper Randy Mazey in the dugout, and an earpiece for the catcher behind the plate.
“I love it. It makes everything a lot easier,” redshirt junior catcher Dayne Leonard said Sunday. “It’s really simple, and I’ve got to know less signs from the coaches. So, it’s good.”
Leonard is in his first year with the Mountaineers. He joined WVU this offseason after spending a year at Virginia Tech, and two seasons at Des Moines Area Community College.
Despite this being the first year of this approach to calling pitches at West Virginia, Leonard is no stranger to this form of receiving signals from the dugout.
“I’ve used it in the past. And got yelled at in the past. So, nothing new,” Leonard said with a smile on his face.
Teams have been able to use various devices to call pitches in college baseball since 2018.
Some teams use a variation of the MLB’s PitchCom system. Others send pitches through other forms wearable technology, such as smart watches. Some still take the traditional approach of various signals physically made by the coaches that are then relayed by the catcher to the pitcher.
In this case, West Virginia catchers can hear Mazey through the earpiece in their ear throughout the duration of an at bat.
According to Leonard, this technology isn’t like what is used between coach and quarterback in football, where rules dictate a length of time that the lines of communication are opened and closed.
“He can talk to me any time,” said Leonard. “It definitely helps. Definitely speeds up the pace of play. It’s nice to have.”
Below are some photos of the earpiece WVU catchers are using this season.