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The hit and run is one of the most basic offensive plays in the game.
Base Runner’s Responsibility
The hit and run starts with the runner on first base.Get your lead off of the base, and then take off for second once the pitcher delivers the pitch. Here are a few important points to keep in mind:
Make sure the pitcher goes home: If there’s a good situation for a hit and run, the opponent will know it, too. Be aware that the pitcher might try to pick you off. You’re not trying to steal the bag straight up, so an outstanding jump doesn’t matter all that much. It’s okay to wait an extra instant to make sure the pitcher throws home before you go.
Take a peek: After two or three strides, turn your head towards the plate and take a peek to see what happened. Depending on the outcome of the pitch, you may need to try for third base, slide into second, or stop and get back to first. Keep your ears open and listen to your coaches, but also try to catch a glimpse of the action.
Pick up your third base coach: If the play is executed correctly and the batter hits it on the ground, you may or may not be able to see the ball. As soon as you hear the bat make contact, look up and find your coach. He can see the play, so he’ll make the decision whether to stop you at second base or bring you around to third.
The hit and run is entirely predicated on the batter’s ability to hit the ball fair. How well he handles the bat and where he hits the ball will determine the play’s level of success.
Here are the most important points to keep in mind:
Don’t chase a pitch in the dirt: The general rule on a hit and run is to swing no matter what. Whether it’s way outside, over your head, or the nastiest curveball you’ve ever seen, you need to swing and get the bat on the ball to protect the runner.
Get on top of the baseball: your primary focus is to hit the ball on the ground. A fly ball might keep you out of the double play, but the runner will have to go back to first and the play will be wasted.
Hit behind the runner: This is where bat control comes into play. In most cases, the second baseman will take the throw at second base on a steal. As a result, when the runner takes off on a hit and run, the second baseman will have to leave his position to cover the bag. This leaves a big hole open at second base, which is the ideal place to hit the ball.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: baseball.isport.com