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Understanding the RunDown in Baseball

Updated on February 20, 2013

A Rundown is a situation in kids baseball and professional baseballl when a runner attempts to advance a base but is cut off by a fielder who then "runs" the runner back to the originating base. While doing this, the fielder throws the ball to another fielder at the originating base forcing the runner to reverse course and head to the next base. This scenario can be repeated over and over again.

There can be three outcomes:

  1. the runner is tagged out
  2. the runner gets back to the originating base safely and,
  3. the runner successfully advances to the next base.

To score this you must include every defensive player who was involved in the play, from beginning to end. Here is a simple example

There is a man on second base. The batter hits a ground ball to the short stop (SS). Instead of throwing to first base (for the easy out), the short stop throws it to the third baseman to stop the runner on second from advancing to third base.

Seeing this, the runner on second stops before reaching third and retreats to second. Now the third baseman throws to the second baseman (who is covering second base in an attempt to get the retreating runner out at first base).

The runner sees that the second baseman has the ball so he reverses course again and heads toward third base. The second baseman throws to the third baseman and tags out the runner.

This is scored in the baseball scorecard as a FC 6-5-4-5 where:

"FC"is a fielder's choice (the fielder had a choice: get the runner out at second base or throw to first base for the ground out. In this situation the shortstop "chose" to go after the runner on second ase).

"6" represents the shortstop fielding the ground bal (and throwing to the third baseman)l.

"5" represents the third baseman catching the throw (from the third baseman and throwing it to the second baseman)

"4" represents the second baseman catching the throw from the third baseman and throwing it back to the third baseman.

"5" represents the third baseman catching the ball from second baseman and tagging out the runner.

The shortstop, second baseman and third baseman all get credit for an Assist (throwing a ball or touching the ball on a play where there is a putout)

The third baseman gets credit for the putout because he tagged the runner for the official out.


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