|Before the pitch is thrown, know where all |
the fielders are playing.
Freeze when away, step back when close. For runners, here is a general rule to go by in a line-drive situation.
If the ball is hit to a fielder far from you, then freeze. If the line drive is hit to a fielder close to you, not only should a base runner freeze but he should take a step back to the bag.Example: A runner is on third base. A line drive is hit to the first baseman, second baseman, or shortstop. The runner just freezes because if the ball is caught, he still will probably be able to get back to the bag in time if there is a throw. If the ball is hit in the area of the third baseman, the runner should freeze and step back towards third. In this case, if the ball is caught and the runner just freezes, the third baseman may beat him back to the bag. The same thing can be said for a runner on second or first and the line drives are hit to the shortstop and second baseman or first baseman respectively.
|If the outfielder's back is |
showing, go half way.
If the outfielder is sprinting after the ball or if his back is to the infield when he runs (the ball is hit over his head) it is more likely he will not catch it. In this case the runner should go half way. If the ball is dropped or missed, the runner can easily score. If the ball is caught, the runner can return to the base and might even be able to tag up and go to third if he is fast enough especially if the outfielder continued away from the infield after the catch. If the outfielder appears to have a good shot at the line drive - by looking at where he is and how the ball is traveling - then the runner should go back to the bag and wait to tag up.
All this is why when runners get on base I usually don't say "freeze on a line drive." Instead, I say "get a good read on a line drive" or "watch the line drive." They need to see the play develop before deciding what is best to do.