The Top Tips for Coaching 1st and 3rd PlaysAug 04, 2022
Duke Baxter breaks down how to defend when there are base runners on 1st and 3rd base. A key aspect is to set up a trick play because the opposing team's 3rd base coach is trying to see what kind of plays we have. An example of a play like this would be to have the shortstop step forward, have the catcher throw it directly to the shortstop and then have the shortstop look at the third base runner. Although this allows for the first base runner to advance to second, it makes the third base runner put on the brakes and sets the stage for another play.
After you have done the previous play, you have primed the third base runner. This time, when there is a runner at 1st and 3rd, the shortstop is going to run in, but the catcher will throw it over his head to the second baseman to make the play at second base. Because the third base runner has seen this formation before, he assumes that you are going to throw to the shortstop and then throw him out. This way, the third base runner does not advance, and the first base runner gets out at second.
Another play is for the catcher to fire the ball to the pitcher, who checks the runners. This is best used during a close game when you do not want to give up the third base run. Similarly, firing the ball to the third baseman or shortstop makes the third base coach hold the runners and saves you the run.
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