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Runner Interference?

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 07/07/2008

Bases loaded 3-2 count. R3 well into foul territory for lead-off. Pitch is hit  and R3 catches ball near 45' line,  5' in foul territory. Nothing, or runner interference?  

Bob Gill
Bob Gill's picture
Joined: 01/26/2009
Love the question, never seen it.

This doesn't seem like an automatic call one way or the other.  Judgement would include

(1) was R3 protecting himself from a line drive clearly in foul territory? If so then no interference;

(2) was R3 trying to prevent thrid base from making a play - did he go out of his way to catch the ball rather than avoid the ball? If so, was third base moving to make a play and did he have a reasonable chance of making one? If so, the call would be the same as interference by the third base coach, even though R3 was clearly in foul territory.

That's my reasoning and I'm sticking with it.  (Until someone proves me wrong via the rule book.)

Bob G.

Loren Gardner
Joined: 01/15/2008
Runner Interference?

As I see it, if R3 intentionally fielded the foul ball before it reached 3rd base then it is interference.  The ball could have hit a rock, clump of grass, etc. and deflected into fair territory.  If less than 2 outs, R3 is out, if 2 outs, the batter is out.

Loren Gardner

Manuel Provedor
Joined: 07/27/2007
Runner Interference

I agree with Mr. Gill's reasoning that if R3 was protecting himself and the ball hits him in foul territory, then, there is no interference. However, I also agree with Mr. Gardner's answer, that if R3 deliberately tried to field the ball before it got to third base, then it is inteference. I do not think third base coach would participate in this kind of play, as I am sure he would be way beyond third base. 
Manuel Provedor

Joined: 01/18/2008
I had this happen in a High

I had this happen in a High School game this year.  With 2 outs and runners on 1st and 3rd, the runner on 3rd in foul territory fielded a foul ball half way between home and 3rd and threw it back to the pitcher.  To me trying to avoid being hit by the ball and fielding the ball are totally different acts. The intentional fielding of a ball by a runner in foul territory before it passes 3rd base is interference as the ball could have become fair. I this case with 2 outs and interference by a runner we declared the batter out.  <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
This begs another question, how many time have we seen a high school base coach do the same thing!
Scott Norton


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