QUESTION: Handling a Runner on Third & Walked Batter

10U I'M ON DEFENSE AND THERE IS A RUNNER ON THIRD AND WE JUST WALKED A RUNNER. THE WALKED RUNNER DOES NOT STOP AT FIRST BASE THE COACH SENDS HER TO SECOND. NOW I HAVE TWO CHOICES AT THIS TIME HOLD THE RUNNER AT THIRD OR MAKE THE OUT AT SECOND. SO I HAVE THOUGHT THIS THROUGH-SEE IF THIS SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD PLAN, THE CATHER HAS THE BALL AND THROWS TO SHORT STOP AND SHE HOLD THE RUNNER AT THIRD FOR A BIT TILL THE WALKED RUNNER ROUNDS FIRST NEARLY TO SECOND AND THE SHORT STOP THEN THROWS THE BALL TO SECOND BASE AND GETS THE OUT. NOW THE RUNNER THIRD EITHER STAYS ON THIRD OR TRYS TO RUN HOME SECOND THROWS HOME.OR MAYBE YOU HAVE A MORE SIMPLE PLAN REMEMBER THIS IS 10 AND UNDER.

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This hurts my head ...
by: Coach Dan

Coach,

This has been a play that has hurt my head since the very beginning. Why give up a free base instead of just having your catcher gun the runner out at second... Natural instinct, right?

So, we played it conservative at 10U and even at 12U because how many catchers have the coordination to catch a "ball" and get themselves in position to throw a beautiful strike at second, while at the same time your shortstop catching the ball and get the tag down all quick enough to where the runner at third doesn't dare move. Don't forget, the runner at third is already 10 feet down the line ...

The last thing I wanted my girls doing is create a circus inning by starting to throw the ball around. Have you done the drill where you throw the ball around the horn (not even to second from home) and counted how many good throws AND catches were made in a row? That will tell you whether you want to chance it.

Now, if you are like me and HATE giving up that base, here is another idea. Instead of throwing to the shortstop, who is on the wrong side of the second base bag, why not have your second baseman come in to the lip of the infield and throw to your second baseman or maybe just throw to your first baseman who is standing right next to the first base bag. The batter will still be running down to first at the time. This way, it will discourage the batter from trying to go to second. As soon as she hesitates at first, she cannot advance. I would also think this would prohibit the runner on third from making a clean break. If she does, it is a shorter throw from the lip of the infield (or from first) to home.

So, to do that, is your team capable of handling a bad throw (pitcher to catcher, a ball), a good throw (catcher to second or first baseman), a good throw (second or first baseman to catcher). That is three catches and three throws. BTW, by doing this, you could be risking a run scored plus the batter ending up on third. And, do you outfielders know where to back up with all of these throws? Before making this a play, you will need to practice it a number of times in practice. Try it with your own team and see if it is effective.

As you say ... It is 10U.

Good luck,

Dan

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