SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A ten-person team of San Diego State engineering students was assigned a project centered around baseball, to be more exact, they had to work with baseball bats.
"No one in the group was a baseball fan and we had never heard of this technique before," says senior Devin Morningstar.
Devin is referring to a technique in baseball called boning. Players would often rub an old dried-up bone on the barrel of their bat to make it denser.
"All we were told is that we needed something that can apply pressure with a bone, move it along a bat, and rotate it."
Not familiar with the act of boning a baseball bat, the group of ten was assigned the project by their sponsor. The goal was to develop a system to make it easier to bone the bats.
In a matter of nine months, the group of engineering students took the idea and turned their project into what they call a bat finishing system. So just how does it work?
"We insert the bat in the system, and adjust the pressure," says Morningstar.
Devin's teammate Loran Najjar says once the process is started, it's all about creating a harder bat.
"We can set a speed and we can set the index angle. Then the bat is going to rotate. The bone will start rubbing the bat until it goes 360 and finishes the bat."
After a number of trial runs, the bat finishing system did in fact help increase the density of the bat.
"We tested its hardness before the rub and after the rub. It made the bat way stronger than it was," says Najjar.
Each student put in about 400 hours on the project, and it even caught the eye of former Padre Kurt Bevacqua.
"There are all kinds of bat manufacturers with whom Major League Baseball has a partnership. They might be interested in using something like this, or the technology behind it."
The student has worked very hard on their bat finishing system. So might this grow their interest in the sport?
"I'm certainly more intrigued," says Morningstar. "Now I think I will tune in more."