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3b: Base Running - Third Base: third base is the easiest base as there is only one decision to make, go or no go.

Beginner: How many are out? What do you do on a fly ball? These are the two questions you should ask every runner when they reach third base. Over the course of a season, they will begin to show up at third already knowing the questions and ready to provide you the answers.

After each pitch, the runner at third should take three hard step towards the plate. When taking this lead at third base, it should be just into foul territory. If the batter hits the ball down the line, with runner in fair territory, and it makes contact with the runner, it is runner interference and the runner is out, a scoring opportunity wasted. If the batted ball strikes the runner in foul territory, it is simply a dead ball.
Intermediate: If a pitched ball is caught by the catcher, do not have your runner immediately turn and run back to 3rd base. With a short lead, there is little danger in a catcher picking off the runner. Have your runner stay off the bag until the pitcher has control of the ball. Then the runner can return, always keeping an eye on the player with the ball, in this case, the pitcher.

Before the game, coaches should check the distance home to the backstop. During the game, watch how well the catcher moves. The thirdbase coach needs to know the situation. When the runner arrives at third, tell them how many are out, where the infielders are playing, what to do on a fly ball, a passed ball, and a grounder. In a close game with a strong batter at the plate, be more conservative on a passed ball. The coach should tell the runner if they have the green light on a passed ball or not. The decision to go on a passed ball should be the runner's read. If the runner waits for the coach to say "go" they will lose a second, getting a poor jump, and possibly get thrown out at home.
Advanced: The runner on third should always know where the fielders are and what to do on a ground ball to each fielder. Depending on the defensive alignment, the coach may choose to hold the runner if the fielders are playing in, or may wish to force the play to happen at the plate. With less than two out, and a runner on first and third, the runner should usually attempt to score, to avoid the double play. It will still leave a runner in scoring position.

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To comment on any of these baseball tips please send us an email.  Baseball is a tremendously enjoyable game for kids to play.  These baseball coaching tips are provided to make the game easier to coach and increase the skill level of your baseball players.  This website is dedicated to the advancement of minor baseball players. It is about developing the fundamental skills of young baseball players by providing them instruction and coaching appropriate to their age and skill level.

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