Philip asked: One out,runner on 1st.
Batter hits weak fly, short left field.
Runner on 1st goes half way, then back to 1st.
Routine out, two away.
The left fielder, believing side away, throws ball to crowd.
Where do the umpires place the runner from 1st,
(IE) is it automatic home run or what?
Rick answered: Philip, thank you for your question.
Believe it or not, this situation occurs occassionally, even at the MLB level. Saw it happen in a Diamondback's game earlier this season, where the second baseman for the Brewers made a real nice catch, in foul territory, reaching into the stands for what he believed was out number three.
Unfortunately, it was out number two. In his excitement over the catch, and being right along the first base box seats, he flipped the ball to the nearest fan and headed for the dugout.
The umpires signaled dead ball, and awarded the runner two bases.
Embarassing for the infielder. He took a lot of kidding from the opposition, as well as his teammates. His coaches, on the other hand, saw little humor in it.
Your situation works out the same way. The rule is covered in Baserunning Awards: 8-3-Art 3-c...Award all runners two bases if a fair batted or thrown ball becomes dead because of bouncing over or passing through a fence, or lodges in a defensive player's or umpire's equipment or uniform; or if a live thrown ball:
2. goes into a stand for spectators, dugout or player's bench or over or through or lodges in a fence and is not thrown by a pitcher from his plate.
The runner from first base is awarded third base.
Big difference between 2 outs and a runner on first and 2 outs and a runner on third.
Yours in baseball,
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