The Ole Ball Game

Should batter be given fielder's choice on hit and run.

by Terry Willhoite
(Georgetown, Kentucky)

Terry asked: A man is on first base and a hit and run is called on the pitch.

The batter hits a hard shot up the right middle of the infield and the second baseman has to dive for the ball to keep it from the outfield.

The runners are safe at second and first.

Should a fielder's choice be given when an extraordinary diving catch has to be made to stop ball from going into the outfield?

He did try to get up and throw to second base for the force, but was too late.

Rick answered: Terry, thank you for your question.

On a play such as you described, the official scorer needs to look at all aspects of the play to make that decision.

The runner from first is already in motion on the pitch, the second baseman may already be moving that direction when the ball is hit, as he may have had responsibility for the steal.

The 2b has to leave his feet to keep the ball in the infield, his only option is to try and get the runner at second.

He is unable to do that as well, because the runner was going on the pitch, and the circumstances on where the ball was hit. The 2b laying out to keep it in the infield would indicate that it should go as a base hit.

The 2b went to second base, as the only chance he had for an out. That decision should not take away a base hit for the batter, due to all the factors.

Yours in baseball,


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