The Ole Ball Game

fielders choice or hit for the batter?

by Don
(Los Angeles)

Don asked: Runner at first base one out.


The batter hits a line drive that the right fielder short hops and throws immediately to second.

The runner on first, not sure if the ball will be caught, waits till the ball drops in to attempt to take second base and is thrown out.

Batter reaches first before runner is thrown out at second.

Does batter get a hit or is the play a fielders choice?


Rick answered: Don, thank you for your question.

Official scorers have leeway in many situations to adjust to the actual action at the time, rather than a strict interpretation of the book rule.

In the situation you describe, had there not been a runner on first, the batters hit would have been a hit, not an error, so the scorer can decide to show the runner from first base as out, 9-6, and give the batter a single.

If he felt that the batter, with no one on first base, would have been put out by the right fielder, he can also go that way, which would be ruled a fielder's choice.

All up to the discretion of the official scorer on site.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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