Rule of the Week: Safe or Out?
Ouch! Runner Struck by Batted Ball While Standing on Base
You can trip up some smart baseball people with this basic rule about baserunning. Most people believe that if a runner is standing on a base that belongs to him, he is safe from being put out. Not so. A base is not a safe haven when touched by a batted ball.
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When this play happens it is usually at third base. The runner has a short lead off the base when the batter hits a firm ground ball down the line. The runner turns and scurries back to the bag and has one foot on the bag when the fairly batted ball hits his leg. Out or safe? This is treated like any other situation where a runner is struck by a batted ball before passing a fielder who could have played the ball. The runner is ruled out, the ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base. As long as the third baseman was playing behind the runner, the runner is called out.
The exception to this is a runner being hit by an infield fly.
Rules 5.06(c)(6) and 6.01(a)(11)
Instruct your players, when leading off third base to take a lead in foul territory and return to the bag in foul territory if a ball is hit in their direction. There is no penalty, besides pain, when hit by a batted ball in foul territory.
19. Batted Ball Striking the Runner