FGCU Entrepreneurship program students get into the world of sports with improved baseball bat

Students turned entrepreneurs are personalizing each swing of a baseball bat through their own business.

They are hoping to change the world of baseball.

Aliana Bonilla wants to evolve the game she loves.

“It’s just really been a part of my life pretty much since I can remember. And I felt like this was a fantastic way to give back to the sport,” Bonilla said.

Bonilla and her partner Chris Durante redesigned the traditional bat.

And they came up with the pommel bat, designed with a grip used on swords.

“Baseball players in general are, can be superstitious,” Bonilla said. “They have their specific routine, very specific way that they play. So this kind of allows them an extra customization factor to their game.”

It’s done by sanding down the end of the bat to make the handle flatter and the knob open-ended, allowing for more power in the swing.

“When you grab it you don’t have that much obstruction in this hand area so that it doesn’t cause any sort of rash blisters or any sort of you know discomfort,” Durante said.

The dream was realized through the FGCU School of Entrepreneurships Runaway Program.

Bonilla’s mentor and professor Paul Evans said the students found a unique solution to a widely accepted design.

“Other people may have tried it and it may have not worked. So let’s figure out if the problem actually does exist. And then from there realize what our customers, baseball players, softball players will be looking for out of a solution,” Evans said.

The bats are not only a solution on the diamond but for Bonilla’s future.

“I went to college not really having a clear path of what I wanted to do after graduation. But I definitely have a clear path now. This is what we want to do,” she said.

Bonilla and Durante’s bat design received $8,000 in seed funding through the program.

The two plan on pitching their idea again for additional funding and hope to get the bat into the hands of baseball players.

Reporter:Zach Oliveri
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