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Advantageous 4th out / abandonment


Guest Geoff

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I understand that an advantageous 4th out on appeal can be used to supercede a 3rd out and remove a run from the board.

For example with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs, if the batter gets a hit and R3 scores, but R2 is thrown out at home, if the batter in advancing to 2nd base missed first, he can be called out on appeal, and that becomes the 3rd out instead of the out at home, and the run doesn't score. Did I get that right?

What about if the 4th out is an abandonment call? Or can that even happen?  Again, runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs. 3-0 on batter and a wild pitch. R3 scores, but R2 is thrown out trying to advance to 3rd base.  Meanwhile the batter is walking towards first base but seeing the 3rd out he heads to the dugout.  Can he be called out for abandoment? Or does he not have to go to 1st base since the inning is over?  If he gets called out for abandoment does that negate the run?

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16 minutes ago, Guest Geoff said:

For example with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs, if the batter gets a hit and R3 scores, but R2 is thrown out at home, if the batter in advancing to 2nd base missed first, he can be called out on appeal, and that becomes the 3rd out instead of the out at home, and the run doesn't score. Did I get that right?

Yes, the appeal of the BR at 1B would be an advantageous fourth out, because the BR made the out before legally touching 1B. So, by rule, no run would score.

18 minutes ago, Guest Geoff said:

What about if the 4th out is an abandonment call?

No, an advantageous 4th out is available only for outs called on appeal. 

18 minutes ago, Guest Geoff said:

Meanwhile the batter is walking towards first base but seeing the 3rd out he heads to the dugout.  Can he be called out for abandoment?

The BR can never be called out for abandonment prior to touching 1B, which is defined for runners who have touched 1B. However, the defense (at least in some codes) may appeal the BR not touching 1B, which would (as an appeal play) be eligible to be ruled an advantageous 4th out. 

BTW, it's also possible to have an advantageous 5th out. Just sayin.

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41 minutes ago, maven said:

The BR can never be called out for abandonment prior to touching 1B, which is defined for runners who have touched 1B. However, the defense (at least in some codes) may appeal the BR not touching 1B, which would (as an appeal play) be eligible to be ruled an advantageous 4th out. 

So in this particular case (using OBR for simplicity), the defense could appeal that the walked batter didn't get to first base? Even though a 3rd out was made before he got there, so it would be pointless for him to continue? 

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The BR can never be called out for abandonment prior to touching 1B, which is defined for runners who have touched 1B. 

From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (chapter 6, pp. 50-51):

A runner who discontinues his advance or return to a base, progresses a reasonable distance from the base (usually toward his dugout or defensive position), and indicates no intent to reassert his status as a runner has abandoned his effort to run the bases. The cause of his actions (e.g., ignorance or apathy) is irrelevant. The ball remains in play.

By rule, a batter-runner cannot be out for abandoning before touching (or passing) first base. However, there may be instances wherein a batter-runner aborts an advance toward first base before touching (or passing) it. This is herein called desertion…

Desertion typically occurs when a third strike is not caught and the defense neglects tagging the batter-runner or first base. If such batter-runner is not trying for first base when he leaves the dirt circle surrounding home plate, he is out for desertion. (5.05a2-Comment) Furthermore, if the batter-runner has been given a reasonable opportunity to advance but gives indication that he is unaware of this opportunity or is choosing not to take advantage of it (lingers in the plate area, begins to remove batting gloves or equipment, moves toward his position or dugout, begins to argue, etc.) he is out for desertion. [NFHS 8-4-1i]

A batter-runner is also out for desertion if he is being chased toward home plate during a tag attempt and reaches home plate.

Although improbable, desertion can also occur after an award (5.05b1 Comment) (e.g., after ball four the batter-runner goes directly to his dugout as a pinch-runner goes from the dugout to first base) or on a batted ball. If such batter-runner reaches his dugout he is out for desertion.

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If a consecutive runner is out for abandonment before his advance base on a batted ball, the out is not a force out (the force of the abandoning runner is removed by his own actions). However, an appeal of the abandoned base as a missed base is a force out, and can be upheld for an advantageous fourth out (see Example 2 below). Note that abandonment does not remove the force against runners ahead of the abandoning runner; this stipulation prevents a runner from abandoning the basepaths, intentionally or otherwise, and removing the force against a runner ahead of him.

Example 2--R3, R1, game tied at 2-2, bottom of the ninth inning, 2 outs. Base hit. R3 touches home plate as the apparent winning run and the batter-runner touches first, but R1 goes to join in the celebration at home plate without advancing to (or near) second base: R1 is out for abandonment, but this is not a force out, and the run can score if it preceded the abandonment (time play). If the defense were to appeal that R1 had not touched second, there would be a force out, and no run. In cases where an apparent winning run precedes abandonment (time play), the umpires should signal the out for abandonment and the time play, but should not otherwise indicate to the defense that anything unusual has occurred. Of course, the umpires must be aware of the possibility of an appeal by the defense that could result in a force out, negating the winning run(s). Umpires must observe the playing field until all infielders (including the pitcher) have left fair territory.

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22 hours ago, Guest Geoff said:

So in this particular case (using OBR for simplicity), the defense could appeal that the walked batter didn't get to first base? Even though a 3rd out was made before he got there, so it would be pointless for him to continue? 

That whole conundrum about whether a BR  (or other runners) must continue to advance after the third out has been discussed here many times.  Good arguments can be made for both positions.

 

The current interp is that the "forced" runner (including the BR here) must complete the advance or be subject to appeal.

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So in this particular case (using OBR for simplicity), the defense could appeal that the walked batter didn't get to first base? Even though a 3rd out was made before he got there, so it would be pointless for him to continue? 

No, there is no advantageous fourth out to be had here under OBR. By rule the batter-runner is considered to have reached base--

2021 OBR 9.02(g) Number of runners left on base by each team. This total shall include all runners who get on base by any means and who do not score and are not put out. The Official Scorer shall include in this total a batter-runner whose batted ball results in another runner being retired for the third out.

The following can be found in the 2016 BRD (section 3, pp. 15-16)

Play 2-3:  R3, R2, 2 outs. B1 singles to the outfield but injures himself coming out of the box. He cannot continue. R3 scores easily, but R2 is thrown out at home: 3 outs. The catcher then fires to F3, who tags first in advance of BR. Ruling:  In FED/NCAA, cancel R3’s run. In OBR, the run scores, as per …

OBR Official Interpretation 4-3:  Wendelstedt:  Play 2-3 does not qualify to become an apparent (advantageous) fourth out. It is made on a runner who has not yet reached a base, not on one who has missed a base or has not properly tagged up from one.

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Senor Azul, as stated here(via Email) in the recent past, Randy Bruns, (NCAA baseball rules interpreter) concurs with OBR that the play in question is not an advantageous fourth out, hence agreeing with Wendelstadt.

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