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Baseball Instruction/Umpire Erroneously Declares Third Out and Run Scores


In a high school baseball game...
There is one, runner on second. Batter hits a routine fly ball to center field. The umpire declares that it is the third out. All players leave the field---including the runner at second. Runner returns to the dugout. After several seconds, realizing that there are only two outs, the runner's coach sends him back to second base. The runner then moves to third and then to home since the defense is still off the field.  The umpires, discuss the situation, confirm with me that there are two outs, then send the defensive team back on to the field and allow the run.

Question - Should the run have counted, should the runner have been declared out since he left the field, or should the runner have been sent back to second base with two outs left?



Officially, in the rulebook if a runner abandons the basepath, he should be declared out by the umpire.  Since in this case it seems to have been an umpire error, if I was umping, I send everyone back to the position they were in after the catch.  Runner on second, two outs and pick it up from there.

While not in the official rules, it seems to be the most fair thing to do.

Hope this helps!


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Brian Flaspohler


Questions about baseball rules, general information about the game, statistical analysis, questions about players, questions about Baseball records. I am a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and a lifelong baseball fanatic. Don't ask me questions about training - this is not my area of expertise.


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