Fielder's choice or hit?
(San Diego, CA)
Gary asked: Runner on second, one out.
Batter hits ground ball deep in the hole between 3B and SS. SS makes diving stop and fields ball on outfield grass.
There is NO CHANCE to retire batter-runner. Runner on second, seeing 3B out of position because of fielding attempt, takes off for 3B. SS gets up and throws to retreating 3B who retires runner.
Is this a fielder's choice? By the simple definition of "not all runners advanced safely" it *may be* but this is complicated by the fact that this was not a force situation. The runner ran on his own decision and it wasn't even with the batted ball, but rather a delayed attempt.
Rick answered: Gary, thank you for your question.
In the situation you described, the official scorer should record it as a hit for the batter-runner, as there was no opportunity for the SS to be able to throw him out.
If the runner from 2B hadn't run, providing the SS an option for an out, it would still be a base hit, as the SS still had no play on the batter-runner.
Yours in baseball,
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