ASK THE UMP!

AWARDING BASES

QUESTION: In high school, baseball and softball, one out; runners on first and third; batter hits a foul fly ball which is caught by third base person for second out. The fielder’s momentum carries him / her into dead ball territory. Does each runner gain a one (1) or two (2) base award?
ANSWER: Each runner is awarded one (1) base for this unintentional action by the defense; hence, runner from third scores and runner from first advances to second base. (BB- Rule 8, Sec. 3, Art. 3, d) (SB- Rule 8, Sec. 4, Art. 3, i.) (This is known as the “catch and carry” play in softball. If a fielder deliberately carries ball into dead ball area, runners would be awarded two (2) bases in baseball and softball.
QUESTION: Runners on third and first; one out; pitcher hurls a wild pitch for ball four and ball gets stuck in backstop fence. How many bases are awarded to the batter-runner and runners? (one or two).
ANSWER: Batter-runner only gains one base award due to ball four walk; runner on first gains a one base award to second due to forced advance on ball four and runner at third gains a one base award to home due to pitch going into dead ball area. Rule book does not allow umpires to over award bases. (BB- Rule 8, Sec. 1, Art. 1, c; Rule 8-3-3, d and Art. 5) (SB- Rule 8, Sec. 1, Art. 1, c; Rule 8-4-3,c Penalty).