Are all other baserunners considered live on a ball 4 situation? In other words, if there is a runner on 2nd base or 3rd base when the batter walks ( 1st base is open) is he considered live? Situation happened in a High School Baseball game yesterday where the batter walked but before he could reach 1st base, the runner who was occupying 2nd base was pick-up off the base by the catcher. The umpire called the runner at 2nd base out on the pick off. The runner at 2nd base was there before the batter walked, therefore it was not a case where the runner at 2nd was advancing from 1st base to 2nd base on ball 4. Therefore, my question is when is the ball considered in play after a walk? After a ball 4 situation, when is the ball live again?
You said High School, so I assume you're talking about Federation Baseball rules, which are a bit different than OBR (professional rules).
In FED, it depends on the kind of walk issued to the batter. If this was a directed intentional walk (where the defense requests to put the batter on first without having to deliver actual pitches), then the ball is dead, and no other runners can advance (unless forced to advance when the batter goes to first) or be put out. But if this was simply a fourth ball out of the strike zone (a "normal" walk), then the ball is live. There is nothing anywhere that says the ball becomes dead immediately when the batter goes to first on a "normal" walk, not in FED baseball, and not in OBR.
What may confuse some people is that in MLB play, umpires allow the defense to request Time immediately after a walk (e.g., the catcher wants to go talk to the pitcher after he delivered the fourth ball). Technically, that is not proper. The ball should remain Live to allow the batter to advance beyond first base if he chooses, and to allow other runners to advance beyond any bases they are given due to the walk. Pro players just don't do that, so pro umpires go ahead and award Time when requested.
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