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Discussion: Baserunner Retreating

Posted Discussion
Sept. 9, 2014
OmahaChuck
Men's 60
39 posts
Baserunner Retreating
Apologies in advance if this has been answered before (I checked the forum back to January 2013 but only found one thread which wasn't very clear).

Anyway, here's the situation: Runner on 1st, no outs. Ground ball to 2nd base. The 2nd baseman attempts to tag the advancing runner but the runner freezes, then back peddles several steps (within the baseline).

This forces the 2nd baseman to throw to first to get the batter. The runner, moves forward again and beats the return throw and tag to 2nd base.

In the game, the umpire ruled the runner out saying he could not retreat to avoid a tag (even though he was within the baseline).

Considerable debate at the bar with some saying out and some saying safe (that you can retreat anywhere except home to first).

Anyone have a rule reference or know the correct call?

Thanks a bunch. Chuck
Sept. 9, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
258 posts
Home plate is the only base that you cannot retreat to.
In that situation batter out runner going to second is safe
Sept. 9, 2014
stever
Men's 70
92 posts
Stop and think about the umpires decision. What is a baserunner doing in a rundown? Ans: retreating to avoid a tag. Obviously, this umpire doesn't know the rules. Garocket is correct.
Sept. 9, 2014
titanhd
Men's 50
566 posts
I've seen this called as well.I believe that the umpire call was correct. The base runner in this scenario could not retreat (back peddle) because he had no base to retreat to. He can stop but, once he backs toward first base he is automatically out.
Double play!
Sept. 9, 2014
stick8
1777 posts
In young mans ball, USSSA specifically, it's legal. I might be mistaken on this but in SSUSA I believe it's an out.
Sept. 9, 2014
JackZ_SLC
Men's 55
15 posts
From the SSUSA rulebook, rule 8.3 a runner is out when:


H. When he moves back toward any base to avoid or delay a tag by a fielder.
The ball is dead, the batter-runner is out and all runners return to the base
occupied at the time of the pitch
Sept. 9, 2014
OmahaChuck
Men's 60
39 posts
Thanks everybody. As you can tell, we have answers on both sides of the coin.

JackZ, thanks for the SSUSA reference but need one clarifying question. When you wrote 'batter-runner is out' do you mean the batter is out AND the runner who retreated?

So, if we modified the example to bases loaded and zero outs, the result would be 2nd and 3rd with TWO outs?

Appreciate the responses guys! Chuck
Sept. 9, 2014
JackZ_SLC
Men's 55
15 posts
From how I read and understand it, the BATTER would be out and all others return to the base they were occupying. Since there is a dash between batter and runner (batter-runner) indicating it is one entity that would be my interpretation. I think STAFF from SSUSA would have to clarify further.
Sept. 9, 2014
TimMcElroy
678 posts
JackZ_SLC

Section 8.3 of the SSUSA rulebook refers to the BATTER-RUNNER, which is different than a RUNNER.

BATTER-RUNNER is one that has completed his turn at bat, but has not yet been put out or reached first. At the moment the BATTER-RUNNER reaches 1st base he becomes a RUNNER.


This is how the rule WAS PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN (understanding the definition of Batter-Runner, it was technically correct)

BATTER-RUNNER IS OUT
H. When he moves back toward any base to avoid or delay a tag by a fielder. The ball is dead, the batter-runner is out and all runners return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.


HOWEVER, the rulebook was cleaned up at the 2013 convention to reduce confusion on this point. The amended rule reads as follows:

8.3 BATTER-RUNNER IS OUT
H. When he moves backward toward home plate prior to reaching first base to avoid or delay a tag by a fielder. The ball is dead, the batter-runner is out and all runners return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.


====================================================================
In the original post by OmahaChuck, the umpire incorrectly called the runner from 2nd out.

We should have had the batter-runner out at 1st base, and the runner who began the play on 1st now safe at 2nd base.



Hope this helps.
Sept. 10, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
258 posts
Tim if that is the way it it writing in SSUSA that is good and it explains it well.

However just a small detail that is in other associations is the runners would go back to the last base touched at the time he steps backwards.

Knowing that 99% of the time the last base touched would be the base he was at at time of pitch

Scenerio

Fast Eddie on 3rd slow batter hits a slow dribbler down the first baseline first baseman deep

Fast Eddie takes off and scores before the 1st baseman picks up the ball and starts to tag the runner but he backs up.

Just wondering why you would penelize fast Eddie for an infraction after the score?

Just curious
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