The Ole Ball Game

Comebacker Ricochet Drill ~ Add The 3B For That Inevitable Ricochet!

Third baseman needs to crash the mound on all comebackers to the pitcher

The comebacker ricochet drill includes the third baseman to this fundamental, pitcher's fielding practice activity.

While you would estimate that balls hit right back to the pitcher would most always be caught, the possibility is there that the baseball will get misdirected off the pitcher.

Throughout my high school and college playing days, this was always a standard add to PFP's, thus it has always been an add to my practices.

It takes repetitions to create a reaction by the third baseman to instinctively crash the mound.

While the percentage of times it will occur in your season is low, it is one of those plays which can make or break any given game.

As it doesn't take any additional effort, or complicate the drill any, it is a beneficial add on to the activity.

I have no idea how many of those plays I made in those 8 years of competition. Maybe a handfull.

One, however, turned out to be a crucial part to winning a qualifying game, which helped put us into the NAIA World Series my senior year.

I have only my coaches to thank, for creating that instinctive reaction.

When this play happens and the out is recorded, at any level, everyone says what a great play it was.

It is the repetitions that make it seamless come game time.

What Do You Need?

Equipment Needed

  1. Infield with bases.

  2. Base runners ( optional).

  3. Pitchers, third basemen, shortstop, first basemen, catchers.

  4. Basket of baseballs.

  5. Coach with fungo.

Set Up

comebacker ricochet drill

  • Players set up in the positions shown on diagram.

  • Possible situations:

    1. Bases empty.

    2. Runner on 1B, less than 2 outs.

    3. Runner on 1B, 2 outs.

    4. Runner on 2B, less than 2 outs.

    5. Runner on 2B, 2 outs.

    6. Runner on 1B and 2B, less than 2 outs.

    7. Runner on 1B and 2B, 2 outs.

    8. Bases loaded, less than 2 outs.

    9. Bases loaded, 2 outs.

  • Coach calls out a situation, pitcher delivers a pitch to the catcher, coach hits a ground ball back to the pitcher.

  • Players react to the situation in front of them.

  • Catcher either stays, or backs up first base, depending on location of the runners.

  • 3B crashes towards mound, then reacts to the play.

  • SS, 2B and 1B play the situation.

Comebacker Ricochet Drill Tips ~ From the Dugout

comebacker ricochet drill tips ~ from the dugout

  • Adding base runners, after players have become familiar with the drill, adds additional depth and interest to the activity.

  • In double play situations, pitchers need to confirm with middle infielders who has their comebacker, before they get back up on the mound.

  • All infielders need to communicate with each other, based on the situation. This drill provides catchers with opportunities to take charge.

  • If pitchers are good fielders, coaches may need to get creative so the 3B occasionally gets a return on his investment.

  • While this comebacker ricochet drill runs fine with no base runners and a minimal infield, it truly comes to life when a full infield and base runners are added. Communication and adjustments on the fly then become reality, just as they will be in the game.

  • Once they grasp the concept of thinking on the run, and making the adjustments to get an out, it is a joy to watch.

Tommy Lasorda

There Are Three Types Of Ballplayers: Those Who Make It Happen, Those Who Watch It Happen and Those Who Wonder What Happens!

( Tommy Lasorda )

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