Ask the Ump!

AWARDING BASES

QUESTION: In high school, baseball and softball, runners on second and third bases; pitcher throws a wild pitch which gets lodged in the backstop fence. Can the catcher make an attempt to retrieve ball from fence? Do runners gain a one or two base award?

ANSWER: Dead ball; each runner is awarded one base from time of pitch. (BB- Rule 8, Sec. 3, Art. 3) ( SB-Rule 8, Sec. 4, Art. 2,c). If it was the fourth ball to the batter, he/she would only gain first base.

QUESTION: Batter hits a foul fly ball near the dugout. After catcher catches ball, momentum causes he/she to enter the dugout area with one foot entirely inside while other foot is on foul ground. With runners on third and second, are runners awarded any bases after the catch?

ANSWER: In baseball only, the ball remains live and in play with no bases awarded. Runners would be awarded one base if catcher entered dead ball area with both feet.(BB- Rule 8, Sec. 3, Art. 3; base awards table, pg. 50). In softball only, the ball is dead when fielder entered dugout with only one foot and runners would be awarded one base from time of pitch. (SB- Rule 5-1-1, I; Rule 8-4-3, h). In both sports, the catch is legal prior to entering the dugout area.