Tim Grosel swings a loud aluminum bat.
The right-handed-swinging Marietta Tiger senior center fielder usually knows that he's made good contact with a pitch when he hears what can only be described as a "sonic ping."
"What was that?" said Athens High skipper Fred Gibson, from the Legion Field first-base dugout, after Grosel slugged a first-inning, two run homer to stake Marietta to a 2-0 advantage on March 29.
"I've never heard an alumnium bat sound like that before."
It's almost as if Grosel has a volume control on his bat - which of course he doesn't - and it's turned up high.
It's very audible.
Like, how audible?
Well, it's so loud that the horses often rear and neigh in the barn behind the right field fence.
And, the horses aren't the only animals sensitive to the sonic ping.
Dogs can be heard howling and cats meowing on the Washington County Fairgrounds premises.
Yes, folks, it's so loud that people at the Andy Elliott Bantam League Baseball Complex behind the left field fence often point to the sky, and parked cars honk nearby.
Sometimes, it's so loud that Paige Grosel, Tim's twin, has reportedly perked up an ear before attempting a pole vault on the other side of town at the Don Drumm Stadium track.
(OK, OK., maybe, it wasn't that loud.)
Long ago, prep baseball players used to take their cuts at the plate with lumber, and it was the sweet spot and the crack of the bat that mattered. Now, it's the ping of the aluminum stick that batters listen for and strive to hear.
Of course, as far as MHS co-skippers' Jim Thrash and Larry Burke are concerned the louder the ping, as when Grosel connects, the better it is for the Tigers.
To the coaches, there isn't a sweeter sound at Legion Field.
Only opposing coaches and players should consider wearing ear plugs when Grosel steps into the batter's box.
Why, you could almost even say that the sonic ping sound is music to the ears of the Tigers.
Danceable, too, like doing the home run trot, or shuffling around the bases boogie-style.
Against Coshocton in an East Central Ohio League game at Legion Field last Friday, Grosel hit a solo shot to left in the sixth inning. The homer helped ignite a comeback in a contest the Tigers ended up winning 4-3 in nine innings.
Ah, there's nothing like a big swing and sonic ping in that order to get things started on the ball diamond.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org