The Ole Ball Game

Ground Ball to Right Fielder, Hit or Error?

by Greg
(Santa Maria)

Looks Like A Catch In The Making

Looks Like A Catch In The Making

Looks Like A Catch In The Making Great Effort Outfielder Locked On

Greg asked: Situation in high school baseball game, nobody on, nobody out.


Hard hit ball to right fielder who is playing very shallow.

He charges the ball to make a play to throw the batter/runner out at first base. The ball goes under his glove, the batter/runner is safe at first and advances to second while the right fielder is chasing the ball.

Had the right fielder fielded the ball cleanly and made the throw to first base, the batter/runner would have easily been out at first base.

Should this be ruled as a hit with an error that allowed the batter/runner to advance to second, or no hit with an error that allowed the batter/runner to reach first and second?


Rick answered: Greg, thank you for your question.

You can't assume that the right fielder, even if he plays the ball cleanly, will make a good throw to first base, nor that the first baseman will catch that throw.

Since the ball was hit hard into the outfield, I would credit the batter with a base hit.

Whether the outfielder deserves an error, with no bad hop to play into the equation, he just whiffed on the ball, error recorded as the reason the hitter ended up at second base.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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May 10, 2015
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Thanks Again!
by: Greg

Thanks again Rick! Just one follow up question. In the same scenario, if a ball is hit to the second baseman we always assume that the second baseman will make a good throw and the first baseman will make the catch. What's the difference whether or not it was the right fielder in this case? Also, from a distance standpoint, the throw from the right fielder to first base was probably shorter than the distance typically thrown from the shortstop position.

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