The Ole Ball Game

interference

by Scott

Scott asked: Batter is called out on third strike,which is the second out.


He steps out of the batter's box, and catcher hits batter on the helment when making an attempt to throw runner out while he is trying to steal third.

What is the call on the runner?


Rick answered: Scott, thank you for your question!

The rule covering your situation is Rule 7 Batting, Section3 Batting Infractions - A Batter Shall Not: Art 5...Interfere with the catcher's fielding or throwing by:

a) Leaning over home plate

b) Stepping out of the batter's box

c) Making any other movement which hinders actions at home plate or the catcher's attempt to play on a runner

d) Failing to make a reasonable effort to vacate a congested area when there is a throw to home plate and there is time for the batter to move away

Penalty: When there are two outs, the batter is out. When there are not two outs and the runner is advancing to home plate, if the runner is tagged out, the ball remains live and interference is ignored. Otherwise, the ball is dead and the runner is called out. When an attempt to put out a runner at any other base is unsuccessful, the batter is out and all runners must return to bases occupied at the time of the pitch. If the pitch is a third strike and in the umpire's judgement interference prevents a possible double play (additional outs), two may be ruled out.


Since the batter's strike out was the second out of the inning, the umpire can rule that the batter's interference prevented the double play from being completed and call the runner out at third.

While it is good to see it all play out in front of you, your description sounds like the umpire should have called the runner out as well.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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