Academy Courses

Strike Three

The batter is called out when the umpire calls or acknowledges a third strike. Sometimes the batter-runner is allowed to run to first base after his third strike. These are examples of the “third-strike rule.” This comes into effect if the third strike occurs, the catcher fails to catch the pitch and:

  • There is no runner on first base.
  • There are two outs and a runner on first base.
  • The pitch ends up going out of play (even if it touches the umpire); the batter-runner will be awarded first base.

Once a batter either looks at strike three or swings and misses at strike three and the ball is either not caught or dropped by the catcher, the batter becomes a runner and can attempt to make it to first base before either being tagged by the catcher or thrown out at first base.

Ted Barrett explains the difference between a foul tip and a foul ball.

Batter Interferes After Third Strike Not Caught: [Umpire Interpretation]

Base, Base on Balls, and Walks

Hit by Pitch or Base on Balls?

  • If a batter is touched by a pitched ball that would be ball four, the batter is awarded first base on the hit-by-pitch, not the walk.

Hit by Pitch or Swinging Strike?

  • If a batter swings at a pitch, either a full swing or a checked swing and is subsequently hit by the pitch, it will be called a strike.

If a batter swings at a pitch and the ball strikes his body, it is a strike.