The Ole Ball Game

out or safe

by john gamble

John asked: Runner standing on third base and is hit by a ground ball, is he out or safe?

Rick answered: John, thank you for your question.

The rule for this situation is 8-4 Runner is out when he: k. is contacted by a fair batted ball before it touches an infielder, or after it passes any infielder, except the pitcher, and the umpire is convinced that another infielder has a play.

1. If a runner is touching his base when he is hit by an infield fly, he is not out, but the batter is out by the infield fly rule. The ball is dead, even in the exception.

2. If the runner is hit by an infield fly when he is not touching his base, both he and the batter are out.

I would guess this play occurred in a Little League game, where the runners cannot lead off.

Since the base is in fair ground, if the runner is in contact with the base, he is in fair ground also, even if it is just one foot on.

A Little League runner should be off the base and down the line some by the time a batted ball came that direction. Runners in can come off 3B into foul ground, thus eliminating a possible out by still being in contact with the base, or off the base; but inside the baseline.

It would be possible the runner came off 3B, as the ball was hit, retreated back to the bag and was then hit. Tough out to have happen, as he was doing the right thing.

As players move up through the system and are able to lead off, they lead off in foul ground so that if they are hit by a batted ball, they are not out.

Yours in baseball,


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