|Running at a runner
By: Bob McCreary
Provided by: Baseball By The Yard
We've all seen a situation where a runner gets caught off a base and proceeds to get into a rundown. It could have been the result of a pickoff play or maybe just rounded a bag too far and got caught in between bases. When runners make this kind of mistake, it is extremely important for the defense to take advantage of it and get the out the runner is giving you. Like everything else in the game, it is a lot easier said than done. When the defender with the ball is far away and the runner is caught between two bases, what the defender does first can mean the difference between safe and out.
Unless the runner is moving towards one bag or the other, the correct first step is for the defender to run at the runner. Most players understand this first step but there can be more to it than meets the eye. There are a few options you have when running at a runner. Which one you choose generally depends on what your coach wants you to do.
Here are the three options:
When a runner is directly between bases, I actually preferred the third option but every situation is different. Each has pros and cons so decide for yourself. The important thing is that infielders know the options available and the pros and cons of each.