April 5, 2022

Runner Touched by Batted Ball While Standing on a Base

Runner Touched by Batted Ball While Standing on a Base

Is a base a safe-haven for a runner? Every baseball player knows that with fewer than two outs, a runner must return to the base to be safe from being doubled up. But what happens when a runner is touched by a batted ball while standing on a base? Most people think the base is a safe zone for the runner. This video with Chris Welsh and MLB Umpire, Ted Barrett, explains away the myth.



(20 minutes later). Now having re-read the rule it only says he does not have to vacate his base to permit the fielder to catch the ball as long as he does not interfere. Does not mention the ball at all. AND it just says, “interfere.” (which implies intentional or unintentional). So, I suppose the runner just has to suck it up, let the fielder have the bag and start for the dugout.


Just an infield fly? On a pop-up that is not an infield fly (rule) the runnerr does not want to get hit so he steps off to make room for the ball. The infielder makes the catch and steps on the bag (or is standing on the bag when he makes the catch.) Double play! In high school the runner does not have to vacate the bag as long as he does not purposely interfere with the infielder.


In your scenario, the ball is likely alive and in play. Once the ball passes through or by 3B (assuming no other fielder has a chance to make a play), unintentional contact with the ball does not put the runner out. If 3B had deflected the ball, it no longer matters whether another fielder had a chance to make a play.


Vincenzo Russo

In this case, I think the runner is not out because the ball passed through the fielder.


Question: If the fielder is in front of the base and had an opportunity to field the ball, is the runner still out? My understanding of the rule is that a runner is out if he is touched by a batted ball when the field did not have an opportunity to field the ball. But if the infielder had an opportunity to field the ball and then the ball touches a runner the rules are different. For example. With a runner on third, the batter fakes a bunt. the third baseman charges the ball. the batter pulls back and slaps the ball past the third baseman on a line. The runner retreats to the bag. He is hit by the batted ball (which is in fair territory) after the third baseman attempted and failed to make a play on the ball. Would the runner still be out? Would that be a dead ball? Would the batter be awarded first base?

William Bell

R3 would not be called out with one exception. If there is another infielder behind F5 and the umpire is convinced that the other infielder had a play on the ball, then R3 would be called out even though the ball had passed F5. (If F5 were to touch the ball as it passed him, R3 would not be out because the batted ball has now been touched by the defense.)
The other time when a runner is not out if he is hit by a batted ball while standing on a base is during an infield fly. If that happens, the ball is dead and the batter is out (because it’s an infield fly). If the runner is off the base and hit by an IFF, both the runner and the batter are out.

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