Last time we talked about a batted ball hitting an umpire—an automatic base hit. I mentioned that it’s the same situation for the batter as if his batted ball were to hit a base runner. Most are aware though, that a ball striking a runner in fair territory means that he is out. That’s why when players take their leadoff of third base, the usually stand a few feet into foul territory.
But for those situations where Rule 7.08 f does apply, who gets credit for the putout?
Rule 10.09 c2 tells us that the automatic putout shall be credited to the nearest defensive player to the point of contact between the runner and the ball.
Also per Rule 7.08 f, once the ball makes contact with the runner, it is a dead ball. No runner may score. No runner may advance either, unless he is forced to do so.
To wrap this all up, check out this video of a Phillies and Yankees game last month. The Yankees’ announcer does a great job of describing the situation. The batter is awarded a single, the runner is out, and Jeter at shortstop gets credit for the putout. Had the play happened with less than two outs, the runner on third base would have been forced to stay at third.