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Stump the ump

April 14, 2007

The following situations, submitted by local umpire Denny Hockensmith, apply to all levels of Little League Baseball.

1. Runner on first base, two strikes on the batter. The pitch is fouled off the catcher's mask and then is caught before touching the ground. The runner reaches second, the umpire calls the batter out and allows the runner to remain at second. Is this correct?

2.With nobody on base, the pitcher, while in contact with the rubber, drops the ball during his windup. What should the umpire call?

3. With two strikes, the batter bunts a foul popup that is caught by the catcher. Is the batter out for bunting a ball foul with two strikes, or is the batter out because the foul popup was caught?

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Answers

1. No. This is not a foul tip because the ball did not hit the catcher's glove or hand first. This is a foul ball. The runner returns to first and the batter still has two strikes.

2. No pitch. This is not called a ball unless there are runners on base.

3. A ball bunted foul with two strikes is an out and the ball is dead unless the ball is caught in the air. It then remains alive and in play.

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