The Rock Baller is a sample acquisition tool that improves sample retention. The basic elements of the Rock Baller are the tool rotation axis, the hub, the two jaws, and the cutting blades, which are located on each of the jaws. The entire device rotates about the tool rotation axis, which is aligned parallel to the nominal normal direction of the parent rock surface. Both jaws also rotate about the jaw axis, which is perpendicular to the tool rotation axis, at a rate much slower than the rotation about the tool rotation axis. This movement gradually closes the jaws into a nearly continuous hemispherical shell that encloses the sample as it is cut from the parent rock. When required the jaws are opened to release the sample. The hemispherical cutting method eliminates the sample retention problems associated with existing sample acquisition methods that employ conventional cylindrical cutting.