Ask the Ump!: Batting

QUESTION: In high school, baseball and softball, pitcher is on plate ready to deliver a pitch as the batter switches boxes.  Is this legal? Is this an out or warning issued only? Can batter switch boxes after having two strikes during an at bat?

ANSWER: Dead ball, batter is declared out for disconcerting pitcher while in position to pitch. There is nothing in the rules that prevents a batter from switching boxes following any ball or strike. The switch must occur in a timely manner to avoid infraction. (BB- Rule 7, Sec. 3, Art. 3 Penalty) (SB- Rule 7-4-3).

QUESTION: In the top of the seventh inning, defensive player Williams is injured making a catch and must be removed for game. Defense has no substitutes and continues to play with only eight players.

With home team losing in bottom of seventh inning, first two batters make out. Williams’ slot in the batting is next in order. Is an out declared in this vacant slot? Can the game end on a vacant position out call?

ANSWER: When a team cannot provide a player to bat in the vacant spot, an out is charged to the position in the batting order. The game ends on that rule application. (BB- Rule 7, Sec. 4, Art. 1, g) (SB- Rule 4-3-1, g; Rule 7-4-1).

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