The Ole Ball Game

Does the run count?

by Nick Nguyen
(Epworth, IA)

Nick asked: With two outs, players on third and second.

Batter hits a ground ball. Player on third reaches home safe BEFORE the batter gets even close to first base, WHEN the player on second gets tagged out.

Does the run count?

Thanks for your answer. Please explain the reason on why or why not.

Rick answered: Nick, thank you for your question.

The rule covering your situation is Rule 9 Scoring - Record Keeping Sec 1, How a Team Scores, Art. 1...A runner scores one run each time he legally advances to and touches first, second, third and then home plate before there are three outs to end the inning.

Continuous action on this play begins when the batter hits the ground ball and becomes the batter/runner.

The runner from third reaches home plate before the batter/runner reaches first base; but in this case the batter/runner will not be the determining runner for the third out.

That determination gets made on the runner from second, as the defense has concentrated their efforts to get that runner out.

If the tag is made on the runner from second before the runner from third scored, that is the third out of the inning and the run does not score.

If the tag is made after the runner from third scores, the run counts.

If the tag on the runner from second is made after the batter/runner reaches first base, the run counts.

The last scenario is the reason coaches instruct base runners not to run into a tag, so that the runner from third has an opportunity to score.

Sounds like the ground ball must have been to the left side of the infield. The base runner has an opportunity to read the play and stay at second, forcing the infielder to make the more complicated throw across and subsequent catch by the first baseman.

The other possiblity is the runner on second purposely gets into a rundown, attempting to avoid the putout until the runner from third is able to score.

If the runner from second just runs into the out before the runner from third scores, it makes it easy on the defense.

Yours in baseball,


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Apr 21, 2016
by: Anonymous

So, if the final non-force tag is made BEFORE the batter/runner reaches first - the run doesn't count? That doesn't seem right. The 3rd out wasn't a force-out, and the defense ignored a potential "fourth-out" shouldn't the run count?

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