Scenario: The batter hits a slow grounder straight towards the shortstop. The third baseman dives and knocks the ball with an outstretched glove. This diverts the ball off the path that was taking it straight to the shortstop, but this fielder is still able to grab the ball and nail the batter-runner at first.
How would you put the play down in your scorebook?
A – 5-6-3.
B – 6-3.
Highlight the text below to reveal the answer:
Answer: B – 6-3.
Rule 10.10(a)(1) Comment states:
Mere ineffective contact with the ball shall not be considered an assist. “Deflect” shall mean to slow down or change the direction of the ball and thereby effectively assist in putting out a batter or runner.
The third baseman’s involvement is hindering rather than effectively assisting the putting out of the batter-runner.