The Ole Ball Game

Squeeze Bunt ~ Win or Tie A Game In A Dramatic And Exciting Way!

squeeze bunt, 57 World Series

The squeeze bunt, win or tie a game in a dramatic and exciting way!

While the situation seems perilous at best, when properly run, all three versions of the squeeze bunt are fully in control of the offense.

If a team has proven it has the ability and the inclination to use one or all of the possible bunts, the pressure on the defense is increased immensely.

Once a team gets a runner to 3B, with less than two outs, the possibility is there. If the defense knows their opponent might squeeze, it puts a whole new set of concerns into the pitcher's thought process.

Should the offense decide not to use this weapon, the threat alone may create a ripple effect for the pitcher whose concentration is split, thus creating the possibility of making a mistake and leaving a ball out over the plate for the batter to hit.

Head games can be as beneficial as special plays, at times. For the head games to become reality, the seed needs to be planted that the offense is willing and able to squeeze, if the situation presents itself.

Squeeze bunts are only offensively dangerous and scarey, if you haven't spent the time and effort in practice to refine the skills. With repetitions, they become solid go to weapons.

Below are diagrams for each of the three versions. There is something here for everyone.

Safety Squeeze ~ Initially The Safest Version, Yet The Most Complicated To Execute.

offensive situation, safety squeeze

  • The batter is bunting strikes only, if the pitcher is willing to walk you, take the walk.

  • Ball must be bunted on the ground, up the sides away from the pitcher. A bunt in the air will undoubtedly become an unproductive out.

  • Runner is reading the down angle and location of the bunt, as he comes down the line, under control. If the ball is down, and up one side or the other, he is running. Right back to the pitcher generally requires he stay at third.

  • It is possible, with a good secondary lead, for the runner to go on a third baseman's throw to first, if they field the ball in front of the runner and don't check him.

  • Good play to run if you have no outs and a runner at 3B. If it doesn't get you the run, you still have two outs to drive the run in with.

  • This version is a little more complicated as you have the hitter making sure they have a strike to bunt, and the runner has to read the subsequent bunt and make a decision about running.

  • As with all things in baseball, it becomes less complicated with more practice.

Suicide Squeeze ~ A Few Seconds Of Pure Excitement

offensive situation, suicide squeeze

  • Hitter is bunting whatever is thrown, wherever it is. Failure to get the bat on the ball hangs the runner out to dry.

  • Bunt has to be on the ground, or it is almost always a double play. Anywhere fair will work; but best to get it one side or the other of the pitcher.

  • Runner needs to stay calm, not tip that they are running.

  • With a normal walking lead off of third, go hard as the pitcher becomes committed to the pitch, as his front foot hits the ground. Waiting for that commitment will give the hitter the best possible pitch to bunt.

  • Leaving too soon tips the pitcher, catcher and third baseman to the squeeze and enables the pitcher to adjust his pitch. You are definately running, you just want to give the pitcher time to start his body to the plate.

  • With proper execution, it is a thing of beauty and leaves little to chance. Just put the bunt on the ground and the game is tied or won, or you are ahead or tied going into the bottom of the inning.

Double Squeeze ~ The Excitement Of The Suicide Squeeze, With So Much More

offensive situations, double squeeze

  • This play is a jewel and can be run anytime during a game, when you have runners on second and third, with less than two outs. No need to save it for winning or tying a game, it is very effective as a defensive demoralizer at any point; but the most emphatic way to win a game in the last inning. The carry over effect will last a long time.

  • While it takes some fortitude to put this into action, practice and repetitions make it easy to make the call.

  • Less than two outs, runners on second and third.

  • Runner from second base is going when the pitcher has lifted his front leg, and dropped his throwing arm below his waist. Runner on third uses the same technique as a suicide squeeze, walking lead, getting pitcher's body moving towards the plate, then go when the pitcher's front foot touches the ground.

  • Hitter is bunting whatever is thrown, wherever it is.

  • Bunt has to be on the ground, or most always it will end up a double play, or possible triple play.

  • Play works best if the ball is bunted up the third base side, at least even with the mound, for the third baseman or pitcher to field. That location provides the longest throw, as well as the fielder having their back to the second runner.

  • The element of surprise is at work here. The runner from second needs to get a good jump, a tight turn with no hesitation.

  • Once you've run it you'll be hooked. It is offensive teamwork at it's best!

Squeeze Bunt Tips ~ From the Dugout

squeeze bunt tips ~ from the dugout

  • As with all bunt situations, it is not all about speed, it is about execution.

  • Hitters, take the time to get the ball on the ground, then run. Should the hitter reach first base safely, that is just gravy. Locate that bunt, then run!

  • Runners, stay calm and get the pitcher committed. If you leave too soon, the defense will pitch around the bunt and have you tagged out, or in a rundown.

  • When your opponents know you have these weapons, and will use them, they have few opportunities to sit back and relax. You are in their head, and good things will happen for you as a result!

Augie Garido, Head coach University of Texas, won 5 National Championships at Cal State Univ, Fullerton and Texas

Bunting Is A Way Of Giving An Offensive Player An Easier Way To Contribute To The Offensive Rally. That's My First Concern, Finding Ways To Help The Player Be Successful. Bunting Is A Heck Of A Lot Easier Than Hitting.

Additional Offensive Situations

  • Offensive Situations

    ~ Keep your opponents under pressure at all times

  • Sacrifice bunts
  • ~ The cornerstone's of offensive situations

  • Hit and run
  • ~ Get your offense moving with this exciting and aggressive play

  • Bunt and run
  • ~ The short game adrenelin rush

  • Fake bunt and steal
  • ~ A great wrinkle to enhance the straight steal, providing your base runner with a little extra protection

  • Fake bunt and hit
  • ~ An effective way to get the defense to react to what they see, then the offense executes something entirely different

  • Reading down angles
  • ~ Get the jump on pitches in the dirt, take the extra base

  • Special plays
  • ~ Designed to amp up your running game through the element of surprise

  • Safety squeeze
  • ~ Initially the safest version, yet the most complicated to execute

  • Suicide squeeze
  • ~ A few seconds of pure excitement

  • Double squeeze
  • ~ The excitement of the suicide squeeze, with so much more

  • Base running
  • ~ One of the least taught, yet still one of the most important, even in the age of the aluminum bat

  • Stealing second
  • ~ As you step out into your lead, all the feelings intensify as you lock in on that one movement the pitcher is about to make, a movement that will send you speeding towards second base

  • Stealing third
  • ~ Often easier than stealing second

  • Steal home
  • ~ Always exciting and a true defensive demoralizer

  • Double steal
  • ~ Working to keep up the pressure, get two runners into scoring position or possibly score a run

  • Delayed steal
  • ~ Uses the element of surprise, a great equalizer

  • Home to first
  • ~ A full out sprint; remember, hustle never has a bad day

  • First to second
  • ~ Stay in the moment, be aggressive

  • Second to third
  • ~ The base runners first and foremost responsibility is to keep track of the baseball

  • Third to home
  • ~ The exception in leadoffs, as you lead off in foul territory

  • First to third
  • ~ The added skill involved is to pick up the third base coach, then second base, and the coach again

  • 25 ways to score
  • ~ 25 reasons to work hard getting a runner on third base

return from squeeze bunts to the ole

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