A rundown is a baseball play that involves a baserunner caught between two bases, with defenders attempting to tag him out. This play is an essential part of baseball and requires a team effort to execute it correctly. In this blog, we will discuss the key points to executing a rundown in baseball.
The goal is to complete this play with two throws or less, as this cuts down on the potential for an errant throw.
1. Run hard at the baserunner: The first defender with the ball should run hard at the baserunner, forcing him to commit before making the throw to the other defender.
2. Show The Ball: The defender with the ball should get the baseball into their throwing hand as quickly as possible to tag or throw quickly.
3. Path: Both infielders, whether throwing the ball or receiving it, should get to the same side of the baserunner. For example, both players get to the infield grass side. This will prevent the throw from hitting the runner and gives both thrower and receiver a clear line of sight.
4. Approach: If you have the baseball, it is your job to run hard at the baserunner so he can make a decision. Make him commit and either tag him or give the ball up to the receiving infielder.
5. Close the gap: If you are receiving the baseball, you should close the gap between you and your partner. This makes it more difficult for the runner to stop and get going the other direction before you can tag him.
6. Follow your throw: If you are playing first base and you throw it to the shortstop, peel off and continue to second base. You will be in line behind the second baseman who is waiting for the next throw, and if the shortstop gives the baseball up, he goes to first base and gets in line.
7. After the throw: After you make a throw to another infielder, make sure to peel off and never cross the baseline. Stay out of the way of the runner.
8. Communication: The receiving infielder should use a command like “now” when he wants to get the ball. This will help when closing the gap and hopefully when you give it up, he can catch and tag right away.
9. Tag: When making a tag, keep the ball in your throwing hand but wrap your glove around it. This is so the ball is secured and won’t come out if there is a little collision.
10. Fakes: Limit pump fakes to one as they usually work, but can also fake out the receiving infielder.
Executing a rundown in baseball requires coordination and teamwork among defenders. These key points will help your team execute the play successfully, resulting in an out for your team.