Volume 6, No. 8 - October 2011
Hey Blue! I Have a Question?
On-field scenario: Score tied in bottom of extra inning. With the bases loaded and two outs the Pitcher walks the batter. The batter who walked, never touches first base as the runner on third base crosses home and the team rushes the field to celebrate. Before the umpires leave the field, the catcher throws the ball to the first baseman who tags the base. Does run count?
As the scenario is presented above, the run counts. The base on balls is an award and the batter is entitled to first base without liability to be put out RULE 6.08 (a). So the defense cannot by rule retire him until the award has been completed. Next, the defense will probably appeal that the runner abandoned his effort to advance. RULE 6.09(b) states a batter forefits the opportunity to advance when entering dead ball territory (so unless the batter went into dead ball territory BEFORE the umpires left the field without touching first base, and it was seen by an umpire), this will not negate the run. Finally the defense may try to appeal that he is out of the baseline, reading RULE 7.08 (a) states that the defense must be attempting to tag the runner for this rule to apply.
Basically, given the way you described it the only way the run would be nullified would be by the umpire calling the batter out for abandoning their attempt to advance and that must happen before the officials leave the field.
This is an excellent object lesson for coaches to tell their players to complete all of their base running duties first. The celebration will wait.