The Ole Ball Game

Should the batter be credited with a HIT when the fielder on a FC doesn't beat the lead runner to the base?

by Steve B.

Steve asked: Runners on 1B and 2B, there are no outs.

Batter comes up hits a hard ground ball up the middle, that the SS fields cleanly, and throws to 2B, however the baserunner from 1B ( and the batter are both very fast) and the baserunner from 1B beats the throw to 2B.

All runners are now safe, bases loaded no outs?

Very unlikely the SS would have thrown out the hitter going to 1B. The shorter throw being to 2B, but the runner beat the throw. Should the batter be credited with an infield hit?

Thanks, Steve

Rick answered: Steve, thank you for your question.

By definition, a fielder's choice Rule 2-14, Art 1...A fielder's choice is the act of a fielder with a live ball, who elects to throw for an attempted putout or to retire unassisted any runner or batter/runner, thus permitting the advance of another runner(s).

However, Rule 9-3 Art 2 ...A base hit is credited to a batter when he advances to first base safely: c) because of a fielder's choice when a fielder attempts to put out another runner but is unsuccessful and the scorer believes the batter/runner would have reached first base even with perfect fielding.

From your description, it sounds like the hitter should be credited with a hit, since he most likely would have beaten the throw, had the shortstop attempted to make that play, instead of the short throw.

Yours in baseball,


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