SCENARIO: The runner on third sped home as the batter hit a wickedly spinning pitch that hit the ground in fair territory a third of the way towards the shortstop and then diverted sharply towards foul territory and struck the runner coming home.
QUESTION: Is the runner out? Is the ball dead? Or is the ball live and the runner still running?
JUDGMENTS: Was the runner in foul territory or fair territory when he was hit by the hit? Had the ball passed by an infielder before hitting the runner? Both answers affect the ruling.
RULING ON THE FIELD: It was determined that the runner was running down the baseline in fair territory, instead of the recommended foul territory. He was called out and the play was called dead. The batter runner was awarded first base.
5.09 The ball becomes dead and runners advance one base, or return to their bases, without liability to be put out, when --
(f) A fair ball touches a runner or an umpire on fair territory before it touches an infielder including the pitcher, or touches an umpire before it has passed an infielder other than the pitcher;
7.09 It is interference by a batter or a runner when --
(k) A fair ball touches him on fair territory before touching a fielder. If a fair ball goes through, or by, an infielder, and touches a runner immediately back of him, or touches the runner after having been deflected by a fielder, the umpire shall not declare the runner out for being touched by a batted ball. In making such decision the umpire must be convinced that the ball passed through, or by, the fielder, and that no other infielder had the chance to make a play on the ball. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the runner deliberately and intentionally kicks such a batted ball on which the infielder has missed a play, then the runner shall be called out for interference.
PENALTY FOR INTERFERENCE: The runner is out and the ball is dead.
QUESTION: So what happens if the runner is running home down the foul side of the baseline and is hit in foul territory by the same hit as above?
ANSWER: The ball would be called foul and the runner sent back to third base while the batter continues his at bat.
2.0 FOUL BALL - Definition of Terms
A FOUL BALL is a batted ball that settles on foul territory between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or that first falls on foul territory beyond first or third base, or that, while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground.
A foul fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the infielder is on foul or fair territory at the time he touches the ball.
Rule 2.00 (Foul Ball) Comment: A batted ball not touched by a fielder, which hits the pitchers rubber and rebounds into foul territory, between home and first, or between home and third base is a foul ball.
ADVICE TO BASE RUNNERS - When running home, keep all parts of your body clearly in foul territory as the hit ball is passing you so that you will not be called out for base runner interference.