The Ole Ball Game

Is a baserunner proceeded from first to second out if he runs out of the baselline follwoing a walk.

by Skip
(Massachusetts)

Photo Bill Stanton: Checkswing.com

Photo Bill Stanton: Checkswing.com

Skip asked: Here is the situation. Bases loaded, 2 outs and a 3 - 2 count to the batter. A close pitch is called ball 4. However, the runner on first base thinks that strike three is called and is proceeding to his team's bench on the third base line. By the time he realizes his error he is nearly at the pitcher's mound. Should that runner be called out? For the record, the ball was never out of play, time out was never called, and no play was attempted on the runner who was going from first to second following the walk.


Rick answered: Thank you for the question Skip!

Plays like this happen frequently in youth baseball, where inexperience creates a sometimes confusing situation.

When ball four was called, the runner on first was automatically awarded one base because he was forced from the base he occupied when the batter runner received a fourth ball.

The runner from first did not leave the field of play before he realized his mistake, thus he has the opportunity to make the correction and continue on to second base. Continuation of the play which was initiated by ball 4.

The fact that he was out of the baseline would not matter, as there is no play being made on him, nor could there be a play made on him, he was automatically awarded one base when ball 4 was called.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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