Softball: appeal after tagging from 3rd AND 2nd

Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out. Long fly ball to right field. Both runners are ready to tag, however, the runner on 3rd leaves early. Meanwhile, right fielder catches the ball for the 2nd out. The runner on 2nd tags up properly and heads to 3rd. Runner that was on third has already scored (but remember, he left early) and now the right fielder makes a horrendous throw to 3rd base. The throw is so bad, it allows the runner who was on 2nd to score as well.

So, at this point there’s 2 outs, and both base runners have scored.

Now the defense appeals the runner leaving 3rd base too early. The umpire agrees and calls this baserunner out, which is the 3rd out of the inning, and also negates the run scored by this baserunner.

So, what about the run scored by the baserunner who started on 2nd ?

The umpire ruled that since that run scored before the appeal, and therefore scored before the 3rd out, it counts (:dubious: huh ??) This makes no sense to me – what is the correct call ?

The run does not count. You can’t appeal before the play is over.

What if the runner on second left early, and then got caught in a rundown between 3rd and home, and was tagged out. If the runner on 3rd tagged properly, this run would count - right ?

Furthermore, could the defense then appeal that the runner on second left early – even though they already got him out in the run down ? And, if this appeal is successful, would this appeal then negate the run scored by the runner on 3rd ?

Rule 7.12 of the official rules of baseball clearly state that in such a circumstance the run does NOT score:

It’s the same approved ruling in softball. The umpire was wrong.

I would say that the run does not count, that’s what it says in MLB’s rule number 7.12: “Unless two are out, the status of a following runner is not affected by a preceding runner’s failure to touch or retouch a base. If, upon appeal, the preceding runner is the third out, no runners following him shall score. If such third out is the result of a force play, neither preceding nor following runners shall score.” Local rules may be different, but I doubt it.

But we had a lot worse calls this year. Two on, inside grounder to third, rather than tag third he decided to go for two and tag the runner then throw to second for a double play–but he tagged the runner with his glove while reaching back to throw the ball. Umpire still called the runner out. Loudest person on the field? Third baseman. He was sure he was right, even though his catcher was yelling at him.

I would answer yes to both of bossy’s questions. The rules explicitly state that a “fourth out” sometimes has to be recognized.

bossy, as to your question, my reading of the rules is that the run would count in that circumstance. Since the runner was legally tagged out, it’s a tag play, and his leaving the base early is of no relevance. You can’t appeal a runner who’s already out.

This applies in other circumstances too. Runners on first and third, two out; batter hits a grounder to the second baseman, who scoops it and turns to tag the runner going from first to second. The runner stops and retreats. The second baseman chases after him and tags him out near first; before he does, the runner from third scores. The run counts - it’s a tag play, even if there was a legal force available.

re: RickJay’s scenario:

after tagging the runner bwtween 1st and 2nd (for the 3rd out), what if the second baseman then threw to first to get the force out at first. Does this negate the run scored from 3rd (who scored before the 3rd out was made) ?

Bossy –
You are right on both counts. If the runner on 2nd were tagged out in the rundown (after the other runner scored), then the run would count. If the fielding team appealed, and the runner on 2nd were put out by the defense touching 2nd base (even if he had already been out in the rundown) the run would not count. The out as a result of the appeal is a force play, and there is no question of “which happened first?” – the situation is the same as if the inning had ended with a 6-4-3 DP. (Rule 4.09a)

The umpire got it half right. This is a timing play–the run scored before the 3rd out was recorded, so it would have counted. Except for the exception as noted above–the 3rd out was scored by the trailing runner, after the preceding runner was called out on appeal – so no run scored.

If the runners had been reversed, and runner on 2b (R2) was out on appeal after R3 had crossed the plate – that run would have counted. Unless R3 also left early, in which case they could’ve appealed him for the “4th out”, and taken his run off the board, too.

Yobwoc – unless softball is different from baseball in this regard, you’re mistaken. An appeal play is not a force play (even though it looks the same – an out is recorded by tagging the bag, not the runner.) See 2.00 FORCE

jsc1953 – I stand corrected. Actually there is an approved ruling under 4.09 that is right on point, and says that it is not a force. My bad.