Scenarios When A Pitcher Can Throw To An Unoccupied Base?

This article may contain affiliate links. For details, visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.

How many times have you seen an unoccupied base on the field, and said, If only someone would throw the ball there? If you have ever watched baseball with someone who wasn’t familiar with it before, you’ve probably had this question asked of you numerous times. Let’s learn about ‘Scenarios When A Pitcher Can Throw To An Unoccupied Base?’.

Scenarios When A Pitcher Can Throw To An Unoccupied Base?

Scenarios When A Pitcher Can Throw To An Unoccupied Base?

In baseball, there are many situations in which throwing to an unoccupied base isn’t allowed- for example, if the fielder on that base has the ball. But in cases where there’s no one on the base, it’s legal and even necessary to throw it as long as you follow these five scenarios. A pitcher can legally throw to an unoccupied base if the following five conditions are met;

On Wild Pitches: Scenarios When A Pitcher Can Throw To An Unoccupied Base?

A wild pitch is baseball slang for when a pitcher unintentionally releases a ball that isn’t struck by one of his or her teammates. Wild pitches are usually very hard to control, especially because most pitchers try to avoid them. In fact, in many cases, they aren’t thrown at all—instead of throwing directly toward home plate while releasing a pitch, pitchers try and throw around it in hopes that their teammate can get it. If your pitcher throws too far outside of home plate (i.e., towards the third or first base), there’s no guarantee your player will be able to reach it before one of his or her opponents does.

In those instances, you can instruct your player to run over and attempt to retrieve it. Of course, if another member of your team catches it instead, you could have a problem on your hands: What do you do if there’s already someone on an unoccupied base? Do you take over for him? What happens if both players on a team have been replaced? These scenarios come up more often than you might think! 

On Balks: Scenarios When A Pitcher Can Throw To An Unoccupied Base?

The key question on any balk call is whether or not a pitcher attempted to deceive a base runner. By rule, for there to be no deception involved, three things must happen: 

  • The pitcher must come to a set position;
  • He must remain motionless; and 
  • He must make only one motion toward home plate. 

On Dropped Third Strikes

If a batter swings at strike three, and it is deemed that he could have hit the ball if not for interfering with his actions (strike swinging), or if he strikes out swinging on strike three, then there is no action on third base. But, if it was deemed that no contact would have been made with any pitch even without interference (the pitch was wild), then runners may advance on dropped third strikes.

If more than one runner attempts to advance, each succeeding runner will be returned to take their place at the time of departure from their original base. The first runner will remain at second base and any other runners who do not attempt advancement must return to their bases as well. This rule applies only when there are two outs. In some leagues, a runner who drops his bat after striking out cannot be called out on appeal because he did not interfere with play.

On Force Plays

A force play occurs when a baserunner is required to attempt to reach another base because of defensive indifference or indifference due to inability. For example, if a fielder intentionally allows a batted ball to go through their legs so that they can complete a double play, then all runners are forced to run towards home plate and are considered forced into attempting a run at home plate. This includes both baserunners advancing along the bases as well as those already occupying them before the completion of said double play.

On Intentional Walks

Major League Baseball adopted rules that require pitchers to throw four pitches outside of their normal pitching location when issuing an intentional walk. The idea is that forcing players to move more physically puts a greater mental strain on them, thus making it harder for them to think clearly and make good decisions. It also presents another threat: If one of those pitches hits him, he’s out and automatically granted first base. That might not seem like such a big deal—especially in softball where there is no hitting—but if you look back at baseball history, there have been several instances in which players were seriously injured by these free passes.

On Error Plays

One of baseball’s most familiar rules—and there are certainly many—states that runners must return to their original bases when they realize they have made an out. But while you might think that rule applies in every instance, sometimes it doesn’t. In certain circumstances, runners can continue and score—even if an error has been committed. The MLB rule book includes several scenarios in which runners can advance when one or more outs have been recorded and another runner has ended up at third base…or beyond. Check out these five examples


Now We’ve learnt about ‘Scenarios When A Pitcher Can Throw To An Unoccupied Base?’, The rules of baseball can sometimes be hard to understand. This especially applies when it comes to whether or not a pitcher can throw to an unoccupied base. It’s important for fans and players alike to know what is and isn’t allowed in these situations. From there, they can decide if they want their players participating in those actions that are prohibited by baseball rules or if they want them following every rule possible so that no team has any reason to complain about how another team handled certain situations in-game.

Frequently Asked Questions 
  • What happens If a runner doesn’t go to his base after hearing time?

then a pitcher must make sure that the runner is not in jeopardy before he can throw another pitch.

  • What if it wasn’t time and there is no danger of interference?

then it’s OK for him to make another pitch as long as runners aren’t stealing or trying to advance on wild pitches, passed balls, or balks. 

  • What if he has runners on first and second with one out?

then throwing to third would be considered pitching out because of possible double-steal attempts. This scenario would be legal only if all three outs had been recorded before time was called.

Scenarios When A Pitcher Can Throw To An Unoccupied Base?
Scroll to top