Baseball tips – striking out on a foul ball

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A foul ball is a ball hit outside the boundaries of the baseball diamond.

The outside boundaries are straight lines projecting from home plate directly through both the 1st and 3rd bases. Anything hit between these lines is considered a fair ball. Anything hit outside of these boundaries is considered foul.

A ball hit foul, if not caught prior to hitting the ground by a fielder for an out, is considered a strike. Obtain three stikes as a hitter, and you are out. However, a foul has some additional quirks that come into play that you should be aware of.

Other ways to be accessed a strike.

In addition to a called strike, a pitcher can obtain strikes through several additional means. These methods may include a swing and miss of the pitch, a failed bunt attempt, or a hit or a bunt attempt that is hit into “foul territory”.

A few additional unique methods of being accessed a strike include being hit with a pitch while swinging at the pitch (no, you don’t automatically receive first base as a hit batsman if hit when swinging), if you intentionally touch a pitch when it is crossing the strike zone, or if you refuse to enter the batter’s box when instructed to do so by the umpire.

Baseball tips   striking out on a foul ball

Aspects of the foul ball

A ball hit into foul territory with two strikes on the batter does not count as a third strike. That is unless the pitch was bunted into foul territory with two strikes.

An alternative foul ball strike comes in the form of a pitch being fouled directly back with two strikes. If the foul ball remains below the hitter’s head, and the catcher is able to catch the foul ball, the batter is considered out on strikes.

However, if the ball is hit behind the hitter above his head, the catcher (or another fielder), must catch the ball prior to the ball reaching the ground to record an out. This is considered a foul pop out rather than a strike out.

Strike three, but you can still run to first?

This is one of the odder rules in baseball. If the batter is called out on strikes or swings and misses at strike three, there are times when he may become a base runner, attempting to reach first base prior to being thrown out by the catcher.

This can only occur if the catcher fails to cleanly catch strike three, or the ball bounces in the dirt before the catcher comes up with it. This rule is in effect if first base is open with less than two outs, or if there are two outs and a runner already occupies first base. When this occurs, the play is considered a strike out, whether or not the runner makes it to first safely – beating out the catcher’s throw.

So, to answer to the trivia question, “Can you have more than six outs in a full inning?” the answer is indeed, “Yes!”