New extra innings rule comes into play on first day of minor-league season

Big League Stew
The new extra innings rule came into play on the first day of the 2018 minor-league season. (AP Photo)
The new extra innings rule came into play on the first day of the 2018 minor-league season. (AP Photo)

It didn’t take long for the new extra innings rule to play in role in a minor-league baseball game. On the first day of the Minor League Baseball season, the Harrisburg Senators and Bowie Baysox each started the 10th inning with a runner on second base.

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That’s the way things are going to go now in the minors. The league announced new pace-of-play rules in March that included that drastic change. Just like the World Baseball Classic, both teams would start off every inning in extras with a runner on second base. The league is hoping that tactic will speed up minor-league games.

On Thursday, we finally got to see that action in action … and it probably took longer than expected for the game to be decided.

The Senators and the Baysox each traded one run a piece in both the 10th and 11th innings. In the 12th, both teams failed to drive in the runner on second.

It took until the 13th inning for one team to bust out. In the top of the inning, the Senators scored four runs, three of which came on a home run by Zach Collier. The Baysox tried to battle back in the bottom of the inning, but came up a run short. The Senators won the contest 10-9.

Some fans have complained that the new extra innings rule will just lead to more sacrifice bunts, but that wasn’t the case here. Neither team tried to bunt runners over the third base at the beginning of each extra inning. They were able to drive runs in without using small ball tactics.

The new extra innings rule is only being implemented in the minors for now. While Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has expressed a desire to speed up games, there hasn’t been much talk about bringing the rule to MLB yet.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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