As far as some area high school baseball coaches are concerned, the Ohio High School Athletic Association's newly implemented pitch-count rules did not impact business as usual during the regular season.

With a more spread-out schedule during the district tournaments, which began this week, coaches hope that pattern continues but concede it might not.

"I generally don't push our guys to two starts a week, so it really hasn't affected us," said DeSales coach Tom Neubert, whose team is seeded third in Division II and is looking to exceed last year's regional runner-up finish. "(Come) tournament time, it will be different, and that's what we've talked about from the beginning.

"We will need three good pitchers -- two good starters and someone who can throw some relief when it is needed. We're probably not going to get complete games out of these guys. Hopefully, we can get good outings from our starters."

Greg Gilbert and Ohio State commit Joey Velazquez have been DeSales' top two starters, although Chris McNally has become a reliable third option.

Teams are scheduled to play no more than two tournament games in a given week, although games sometimes are held on back-to-back days at the regional and state levels.

The OHSAA adopted the National Federation of State High School Associations standard that pitchers may not throw more than 125 pitches in one day, and a pitcher who throws 76 or more pitches must have three days of rest before his next outing.

An outing of 51-75 pitches requires two days of rest, and 31-50 pitches means a day of rest.

The previous limit was 10 innings in a three-day period.

"The only problem is with relievers, because if a guy throws over 30 pitches, he has to sit for a day," Pickerington Central coach Ray Noe said. "We've had to be cognizant of the fact that, hey, this kid is at this many pitches and we don't want to have him throwing too much.

"We just have to be aware of the kids' arms. Some kids have rubber arms, and some are really hurting the next day or two. We'll pull a kid out when it's appropriate. We care about their future."

Many teams entered the week having played 20 or more games, thanks in large part to three weeks of mostly dry weather in April.

"That hasn't affected us as much with pitching, but the biggest impact of (the weather) is we can't practice," Neubert said. "We've maybe had two practices in the last three weeks."

Olentangy coach Ryan Lucas said he saw the rules coming, although he added most coaches kept their pitchers' workloads manageable.

He witnessed all or parts of two performances last year that would be prohibited under current rules. Pickerington North's Koebe Rush threw 126 pitches in nine innings in a Division I regional semifinal last year, when the Panthers defeated the Braves 7-2 in 13 innings en route to the state championship.

North's Justin Grubb threw 45 pitches in relief in the same game, and 81 more the next day in a regional final victory over Gahanna.

Lucas also is ready in case he's ever questioned about pitch counts.

"One of our assistant coaches has a huge binder to keep track of how many pitches our guys throw and how many days of rest they get," Lucas said. "If we're ever asked, we just pull out that binder and there's our documentation."

No universally agreed-upon system for reporting existed to start the season, so coaches are on the honor system.

"You want to protect the integrity of the game, but to rely on somebody being honest on recording something is asking an awful lot," Dublin Scioto coach Chris Huesman said. "With us, it really hasn't affected us that much how we handle our pitchers."

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