The Ole Ball Game

~ Base Running, Third To Home: There Are 25 Ways A Runner Can Score From Third Base But Not From Second! ~

once you are on third base, there are 25 ways to score that you can't from second

Base running, third to home, has distinct characteristics applied only at third base. It is also a unique situation due to the amount of effort required to get a runner to third base.

Excluding a batter hitting a triple, multiple efforts must occur to get a runner to third base.

Is being in scoring position at third, really that much more important than scoring position at second?

The answer is a difinitive YES! To illustrate, here is a fun quiz.

How many situations can you identify where a runner can score from third base, but not from second base? One example would be a runner on third base scores on a balk, but a runner on second base does not. If you want to look at some point, there are 25 total.

While some occur more frequently than others, once you are standing on third base, all 25 ways become a possibility and you never know when one of them will turn up.

I live in Arizona, where they advertise for the lottery saying, "You Can't Win, If You Don't Play." The same is true for scoring from third base, those 25 opportunities don't exist until you are standing on third base!




Base Running Tips From the Dugout

base running tips ~ from the dugout

A Situation Unique To Third Base

With the bases loaded, two out and a 3-2 count on the batter, all base runners are making sure the pitcher is delivering to the plate and are running on the pitch.

For the runners on first and second, both are headed for the next base in a straight line.

There is a difference for the runner at third base!

Base running, third to home, you also make sure the pitcher is delivering to the plate, take two quick shuffle steps angled further into foul territory before you head to the plate.

This will provide you with a slower start and additional separation from the hitter, in the event the ball is hit towards third base.

This is a safety precaution for the base runner, as you have no protection from a sharply hit ball right at you. We tell our runners to go wide and go late!

One of four things will take place on the pitch:

  1. The hitter will strike out to end the inning.


  2. The hitter will walk and the runner will score.


  3. The pitch is fouled off and all runners return as the situation is repeated.


  4. The ball is hit fair and the situation plays itself out.

Protect Yourself!





I'm At Third, What Do I Do Differently?


  • Look at all the infielders to see which ones are playing back. They will be the ones you are running on if a ground ball is hit to them, with less than two outs and a no force situation, that is the bases aren't loaded. If the bases are loaded, you are running on contact for any ground ball.


  • Base running, third to home, TAG UP IMMEDIATELY on all balls hit in the air, fair or foul, with less than two outs. If the ball is caught and is deep enough, you can run on the catch and attempt to score. If it isn't deep enough, go hard with a good fake, hoping to draw a bad throw which will allow you to score.

    Should the ball be dropped, missed or falls for a base hit, you will score even with the tag. What you do not want to happen is to run down the base line, see that the ball will be caught and then attempt to tag up and go. As soon as it is in the air, turn and quickly get back to third base.



  • On your tag, plant your left foot firmly against the home plate side of third base, so that you can use the base to push off from. Avoid putting your foor on top of the base, it does not provide you with much traction.

    Look out to the field to see the ball caught, go as soon as it is caught. Learn to do this as a base runner, don't rely on the third base coach. The coach has to see it, say it to you and you have to hear it, then react. It will be faster if you do this yourself.



  • As with the other bases, freeze on the line drives with less than two outs.


Leads At Third

walking lead

  • Third base becomes the exception in leadoffs, as you need to lead off in foul territory. The reason for this is, if a batted ball hits a base runner while they are in fair territory, the runner is out.


  • As a rule, you can get as far from third base as the third baseman is. As the pitcher starts his delivery, start walking towards home plate, with the goal of timing your stopping point with the catcher successfully catching the pitch, at which time you set your right foot, turn and hustle back to third. Return on the inside of the baseline so that the catcher has to adjust his throw around you.


  • Avoid running out of control towards home plate with the delivery, attempting to rattle the pitcher. This technique generally leads to abruptly stopping and returning towards third, before the ball gets to the plate.

    Should there be a passed ball, the ball bounces away from the catcher, or the ball is hit, if you are headed back to the base at that time, you probably will not score. An opportunity lost. Stay under control.





Additional Topics On this Fun, Yet Overlooked Part Of The Game

Base Running

What gravy is to Thanksgiving, the running game is to baseball.

Home To First

A full out sprint towards first base; REMEMBER, HUSTLE NEVER HAS A BAD DAY.

First To Second

Look immediately to the person giving the signs.

First To Third

The runner needs to think "Coach ~ Base ~ Coach", for his reads.

Second To Third

The base runners first and foremost responsibility is to keep track of the baseball.

Stealing Second

As you step out into your lead, all these feelings intensify as you lock in on that one movement the pitcher is about to make, a movement that will send you speeding towards second base.

Stealing Third

It is often easier to steal third base, than second.

Delayed Steal

Here you are using the element of surprise, a great equalizer.

Special Plays

Plays designed to amp up your running game, catching your opponent off guard while creating pressure on the defense.

25 Ways To Score

These 25 ways to score from third base are one reason teams work so hard at getting a runner to third base.




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