South Hills family brings lumber to life for sluggers in 20 states

| Sunday, March 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

It's Aul good in this South Hills garage.

Springtime. Baseball returns. Orders arrive for custom lumber.

When Joe Aul, 24, graduated from St. Vincent College two years ago, “I combined my passion of playing baseball and making things. It was a natural fit.”

The family, working in this garage, has turned out bats for the better part of a decade since his father, Jack, started making them as a hobby. Joe Aul played baseball in college, using family-made lumber.

The oldest of eight home-schooled children, Aul took the business to the next level, forming Aul Bat Co.

As the only Pittsburgh-area bat maker, Aul produces about 500 bats a year. He hopes to quadruple that number and expand beyond the 20 states to which Aul ships. Customers include professional players, though no major leaguers yet; those in the minors; the Winter League; American Legion; and several colleges.

“I think with the Pirates back on track, it is good for business,” Aul said.

He eyed a freshly sanded bat and smiled. “The end result is a pretty bat, that is for sure.”

Phil Pavely is a Trib Total Media photographer. Reach him at ppavely@tribweb.com.

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