The Ole Ball Game

Team Combination, First and Third Drill; Work The Offensive End, As Well As The Defensive End At One Time!

backside of double steal

This team combination, first and third drill makes the most efficient use of practice time, by working both ends of this often seen situation, in one session.

Run with a complete infield, using extra players as base runners, switching players from offense to defense so that everyone gets work on both sides. Along with the double steal situation, opportunities to practice rundowns will also pop up within the framework of the drill, as well as "in the moment" communication.

To defense this situation correctly takes a great deal of practice; but is well worth it. An inability to control it can be demoralizing to a defense.

Team Combination First And Third Drill

Equipment Needed

  1. Field with bases.

  2. Baseballs.

  3. Complete infield, to include catcher and pitcher.

  4. Extra players are base runners.

First and Third ~ The Situation

The offense in this situation is attempting to steal second base, at the very least. If possible, they would like to score the runner from third base, on the catchers' throw to second.

Offensively, the best case scenario is runner safe at second, runner from third scores.

Defensively, the best case scenario is that the runner is out at second, while keeping the runner at third base.

Defensive Strategy

      On the pitch, as the runner on first breaks for second, the catcher must come out looking to throw through to second. As he starts that process, he takes a quick look at the runner at third to freeze him, or see if he is heading for the plate. If he is not coming to the plate, throw through to second base. If he is coming to the plate, stop the motion to second, take the ball and run at the runner from third base, executing the rundown with the third baseman.

    • At the same time, the shortstop goes to second base, and the second baseman comes in front of second base, to the edge of the grass, as the cutoff to the plate.

    • If the runner from third base breaks for the plate, the second baseman cuts the ball off and throws to the plate. If the runner from third holds, the second baseman lets the ball go, shorstop catches the throw and makes the tag.

    • The defense explained above covers this situation in the simplest format.

    Team Combination First And Third Drill ~ Tips From the Dugout

    first and third tips ~ from the dugout


    • Covering the bag at second determined by whether there is a left or right handed hitter up. Lefty, SS has bag, 2B is the cut. Righty, 2B has bag, SS has cut.

    • Catcher makes a solid fake of throw to second, pulls ball down and looks to pick runner at third.

    • Shortstop comes straight from his position to the edge of the infield grass, half way between second and third. Catcher comes up and throws directly to SS.

    • Catcher comes up and throws directly to the pitcher on the mound.

    Defensive Philosophy

    frontside of double stealThe defense must become the aggressor in this, always looking to get an out somewhere. For myself, I have always liked to stay aggressive, while keeping the options simple, thus only used the variation whereby the cutoff was determined by what type of hitter was at the plate, left or right. Combined with the catcher always taking a solid look at the runner at third, we had a good opportunity to get an out somewhere.

    There are many coaches who like to have additional options available to them, it is all a matter of personal philosophy and preference.

    No matter what your philosophy, it all comes down to practice repetitions, the process of building confidence.

    Offensive Philosophy

    The offense has somewhat of an advantage in the first and third situation, as they instigate when and in what format this double steal will occur.

    There is simply the straight steal of second, with the runner at third reading the catchers' release, and looking for the cutoff man at second base. No cutoff man, runner goes.

    There are also multi optional special plays, Mashed Potatoes and Senne Loves Dairy Queen, providing some real excitement within this first and third situation. They are very effective and amp up the pressure on the defense.

    All of these plays fall under the category of, "make your opponent play the game".

    return from team combination first and third drill to the ole

    Baseball on green grass


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