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You Make the Call

Situation: Little League® (Major) and Minor Division Baseball: Runners on first and second, one out.

Runner on first base (R1) leaves base early and the pitched ball is hit by the batter. The batted ball is grounded to left field and the ball rolls between the left fielder’s legs, reaching the outfield fence. Both runners score, and the batter-runner advances to second base. You dropped the red flag indicating that a runner left early. Now what?

To assist us with this ruling, we reference Baseball Rule 7.13 (b):

When a base runner leaves the base before the pitched ball has reached the batter and the batter hits the ball, the base runner or runners are permitted to continue. If a play is made and the runner or runners are put out, the out or outs will stand. If not put out, the runner, or runners, must return to the original base or bases or to the unoccupied base nearest the one that was left; In no event shall the batter advance beyond first base on a single or error, second base on a double or third base on a triple. The umpire-in-chief shall determine the base value of the hit ball.

Call time and conference with the plate umpire asking him/her whether he/she would rule the hit a double or a single and an error. Let’s assume the plate umpire ruled it a single and an error. With the play being ruled a single and an error, you place the batter-runner on first base since in no event shall the batter advance beyond first base on a single or error. With second and third base open, you place R1 on second base and R2 on third base since these are the unoccupied bases nearest the ones that were last left.

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Fairball | September 2014 | URC | Registry