How to Score a Dropped Third Strike (with Video)

A batter can still run to first base on a third strike.

In general, most baseball batters reach first base by way of a hit or a walk. Sometimes, players will reach base on an error, hit by pitch or fielder's choice. One of the most uncommon ways to reach base for a MLB player is from the dropped third strike or uncaught third strike. This rule can be seen in at-bats ranging from high school ball all the way to Major League Baseball. This uncommon play has a specific way of being scored during a baseball game.

What is a dropped 3rd strike?

The dropped third strike rule is as follows: If first base is unoccupied and a third strike is not handled by the catcher, the batter has the opportunity to run to first base. If he beats the ball to first, he is awarded the base by the home plate umpire. If first base is occupied, the dropped third strike is not in play. This is because an easy double play would happen due to a force out at second base.

With two outs, the first base occupation rule no longer matters and a dropped ball will become a live ball. This whole rule is similar to how an infield fly rule can only be called with two runners on, on a fly ball that is a fair ball, and less than two outs.

How to score a baserunner being safe on a dropped third strike?

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Score the play "K WP" if the batter runs to first base safely on a wild pitch third strike. Wild pitches are considered the pitcher's fault. This is a common play in Little League World Series Baseball and Softball due to the skill level of youth players.

Score the play "K PB" if the batter reaches first base on a passed ball third strike. Passed balls are considered a misplay and are the catcher's fault.

How to score a baserunner being out on a dropped third strike?

Score the play "K 2-3" if the third strike is uncaught, but the catcher throws the batter out at first base. The "2" signifies the catcher's numerical position in scoring, and the "3" represents the first baseman. If, by some chance, another player gets in on the putout, score the play with the appropriate positional numbers.

Score the play "K 2U" if the third strike is uncaught, and the catcher tags out the batter before he reaches first. The "U" represents unassisted, meaning the catcher made the putout himself.

Does a dropped third strike affect batting average?

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According to the MLB rule book, even if the batter reaches first base, the pitcher and batter both receive a strikeout. Pitchers can conceivably record more than three strikeouts in an inning even without that third out. The hitter gets an "0-for-1" in the box score and his batting average will decrease. If a runner scores on the play, the batter will not be given an RBI, even if the batter comes around for an inside the park home run. If the ball is tipped by the bat and uncaught by the catcher in foul territory, the play is ruled a foul ball, and the batter remains in the box. Keep a book with scorekeeping hints and tips handy. Some baseball rules are obscure, and you never know which ones you'll need to refer to during a game.