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Prevent runner from advancing to second on a walk with runner on third

Jan 29, 2017
12
1
Like to hear defensive ideas to prevent a walked batter from advancing to second with a runner on third. We are a 10U team and a senior team advanced their walked batter several times around to second. Our pitcher just held the runner at third but Im not happy with giving a free base and putting another runner in scoring position.
Looking for a play to stop this. Ideas?
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,282
48
You may hear to throw to first, but this will never activate the lookback rule and you need to use it to your advantage. Get the ball back to the pitcher and have the pitcher move toward the back of the circle. This way when the batter/runner touches first base the lookback rule goes into effect and the runner at 3rd if off the base must either immediately advance to home or return to third base. Have F6 move to 2nd base to cover and wait for the batter runner to attempt to advance. The pitcher must wait long enough to make sure the runner at 3rd has returned to 3rd base and leave themselves just enough time to throw to F6 to get the advancing runner. F6 applies the tag and then if the runner at third attempts to run home the ball will go to the catcher for the play at the plate. It takes practice and work on the timing, but eventually you can get both outs. There is a reason you never see runners attempt to advance on walks at higher levels of play. Teams learn how to cover the play.
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
3,894
63
Along with the SS going to 2B, have your 2B step in 3/4ths of the way to 2B and in the bass-path. That sets up a quick throw and tag if the runner who has walked takes off.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,217
83
Florida
Like to hear defensive ideas to prevent a walked batter from advancing to second with a runner on third. We are a 10U team and a senior team advanced their walked batter several times around to second. Our pitcher just held the runner at third but Im not happy with giving a free base and putting another runner in scoring position.
Looking for a play to stop this. Ideas?
You have to understand why this tactic is being used against you - we did this to teams we wanted to just beat quickly and get to the next game - basically run the opposition into a big inning.

There is a thousand ways to play this, but in 10U this is the best tactic especially if you are playing a team that is probably going to beat you anyway or you are winning.

Wait until she is about 2/3 of the way to second and just throw the runner out. Once you have the out - and you have to get the out - try to get the runner if she goes home. Half the time, the runner at third is surprised you went for the out and she doesn't go home or is slow off the mark, so you often have a chance for a double play or just the free out at second. If the runner scores. so be it and you can start again with no one on base and a free out.

Basically all you are doing is giving up 1 run that was probably going to score anyway in 10U for an out and empty bases. That is not really a bad trade off - it cuts off the 'big inning' opportunities, takes the pressure off your fielders and gets you closer to getting out of the inning and batting. It also takes away easy bunting to get runs in and any hit or error scoring multiple runs - all of which will end up with you in the same situation AGAIN still with not enough outs - which is what your opponent is looking for to make a big inning out of this.

Also by taking the out, you take this tactic away from the opposition for the inning even if this the first out - or at least until they have another batter on three which with less outs to work with they are going to have to earn. I have seen teams have this tactic used against them 4 or 5 times per inning because they wont take the out being given to them. If you take the out, the tactic is no longer really there for them to use again in that inning.

You will be pleasantly surprised by how often the other coach stops doing this once you take the out and they aren't getting the big return they were looking for.

You of course are not doing in a close game late in the game.

Eventually when they get older, your players will end up getting a double play out of this regularly and it will all stop.
 
Last edited:
May 15, 2008
502
28
Eastern Long Island
I found the best way to beat this is to position the 2nd baseman about 15-20 ft from 1st base. Have your pitcher watch the base coach. Runners never attempt this on their own, the coach always signals 'go'. When the coach signals 'go' your pitcher will know the runner is going. As the runner rounds the base and starts to accelerate have your pitcher throw to the 2nd baseman and have her tag the runner, then be ready to throw home. Since the 2nd baseman has moved closer to first she has shortened the throw home. You must also make sure your 2nd baseman knows which runner has priority. Generally I tell them if the runner rounding 1st is an easy tag then get her. If she jams on the brakes and she has to chase her then turn and look home, but that is the part that is your choice. Chase the 1st runner or look home.

However, make sure you practice this beforehand because it is a timing play and things can go wrong. Once you pull it off all your pitcher has to do is turn and stare at the 1st base coach and this usually puts a halt to it.

I have tried the play where you have your pitcher turn her back to the runner on 3rd and try to lure them into standing off the base, activating the look back rule. At 10U most umps aren't good enough to know this is an out. I resorted to discussing it with them before the game started, with inconsistent results.

I repeat, practice the play. I always considered this a favor by the other coach, a chance to get a runner out. If they didn't send the runner but waited and had her steal there was no way we would throw to second.
 
Last edited:
Jun 11, 2013
2,017
48
Assuming you hold the runner at first, will you throw through on the first pitch or are you just going to give it to them? If you are just going to give it them I would let them have it the first time.

I would wait until later in the game and throw them out. The girl on third won't even go because she thinks you won't throw it.

At higher levels you almost never see anyone try it.
 
Mar 6, 2018
83
18
i'm not a coach but i've pondered this myself. my dd's coach doesnt like to run to 2nd when we are in same situation. he said he's been called for taunting the pitcher in the past. anyone heard that. with that said, i've thought about suggesting we work on our 2nd baseman setting up in the basepath to make the tag out or come home. i haven't mentioned it yet because i'm not sure he'd be okay with it. it might lead to an error and the run scoring anyway. it would be nice to at least work on it in practice. how would you all suggest alerting the team of this in advance (if you plan to invoke the strategy in game)? I wouldnt want them doing it late in a close game. Also a big key would be having the catcher fire back to the pitcher quick and having the pitcher be back towards the circle. A lot of times pitchers are cheating home worried about the runner on 3rd. I'd hate to toss back to the pitcher thats close to home then have her focused on 1st/2nd giving a easy view for the runner of the play. To me the key would be pitcher facing home near the rubber and the catcher getting the ball back before the runner gets to first base.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,217
83
Florida
my dd's coach doesnt like to run to 2nd when we are in same situation. he said he's been called for taunting the pitcher in the past. anyone heard that.
No such rule. He has probably had some outs due to not understanding the look-back-rule when doing this. Or maybe a 'makes-up-rules' umpire. More likely the former.

.. your idea to defend ...
This is one of the ways I have seen teams try to defend it but it has way too many moving parts and ways to go wrong. You have to rely on lots of good throws and catches plus in 12U and under you need players who have the necessary skills, arm strength and speed to make it happen. Maybe you get lucky - but what generally happens is that you make an error or something happens too slowly and the run gets in and the girl going to second ends up on three. You also have to practice it way too much to make it successful - and that is somewhat hard to justify in my opinion.

I like the approach I describe above because it is nice and simple. It is easy to execute and you get a free out and you get to try and get two outs. Once you have this down, then you can think about a wrinkle or two.
 

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