The Ole Ball Game

With 2 outs in the final inning and you are up by 3, do you hold a runner on first base?

by Scott Smith
(Vancouver Washington)

First Base Off

First Base Off

Scott asked: Two outs, final inning and your up by 3.

Does your first baseman hold the runner?

Rick answered: Scott, thank you for your question.

In this situation, there are basically 3 options you can go with.

The first image above shows the first baseman off, and behind the runner. If you are confident there will be little chance of a rally from your opponent, this positioning allows the first baseman to cover the most ground.

The second image above is to hold the runner on, used if you are truly do not want the base runner to be able to steal second base. Holding him on makes it less likely he will attempt to steal.

I don't have an image for the third option, which is referred to as "back pocket". Your first baseman plays 1-3 steps behind the runner, a shade outside the runners right leg, putting him almost in the runners back pocket.

Option 3 provides you with the best of both worlds. You can hold the runner from there; but you have the depth to cover more ground as well. If you choose to pick the runner, it is a great back pick location.

Yours in baseball,


It all comes down to personal preference.

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