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Guest Rulestickler

Does the run score?

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Guest Rulestickler

Little League:  2 outs with runner on third. Two strikes on batter. Batter swings at wild pitch for the third strike...catcher lets ball roll to backstop.  Runner on third attempts to steal home. Catcher flips to pitcher at home plate and runner slides under tag (Play #1).  Ump calls runner safe.  To everyone's amazement Batter/Runner is still jogging down to first base. Pitcher then throws to first and the BR is called out.  Ump ruled run scores because they made a "Play" at runner coming home before throwing to first.

Had the catcher thrown to first and got BR out instead of first making a play at home the run would obviously not score. Rule 4.09a (Exceptions) states - A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made.  The definition of play is the confusing part...the play the defense chose to make was not the force at first base but a tag at home and they failed to get the out during this play.  Did they then attempt a second play and got the runner out at first. The word "play" is not defined at all in this context. Were there two separate plays and the run scores or is it all the same play and the run does not score?  Ump called runner safe and run counted. 

What is the correct call here.

Thank for your guidance.

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The ump is wrong, the run doesn't score.   Doesn't matter how many plays are made before throwing the batter out at first base.

What happened when the coach protested?

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Guest Rulestickler

No official protest was made.  There was some discussion among the coaches and ump and the run stood.  Everyone agreed that because it was two separate plays the run should count.  After the game (blowout) I searched the rule book to find a definite rule that addresses it (in case it happens again) and could only come up with 4.09. I thought I would post here to see what others had to say.

Thank you for your help!  

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Look at the Example in 4.09. With one out a "play" is made for the second out and then the batter/runner is called out on an "appeal play" for missing first for out #3.  The run for the runner who scored during the "play" does not count because the third out was by the batter/runner before touching first base even though that was the "second play" by the defense.

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Guest Rulestickler

Thanks Lou B! I might not have had to ask the question if I updated my book.  My book gives a different example where the batter flies out to right for out #2, a guy on third scores and then the  guy who was on first doesn't tag up and gets thrown out trying to get back to first.  Run counts.  They must have updated the example in '19 or '20 to a better example.  Thanks for your help. There were a whole lot of people at the game thought the run should score for various reasons.  I will send a clarifying email to all involved so we get it right next time.

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I might be giving the umpire too much credit, but there IS a situation where the run scores during an intervening play at home, and then the batter-runner is called out for runner's lane interference, but NOT when the RLI was the third out. Normally during RLI, runners are returned to their bases occupied at the time of the pitch. With an intervening play at the plate, runners are placed at their bases occupied at the time of the interference (which is why the run is allowed to score). But again, if the RLI was the third out, the run cannot score.

There are few universal truths in baseball but this is one of them: when the BR is the third out before touching first base, no runs can score. Like...EVER.

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