Second to Third

AT 2nd Base:

1) Get your signs from the coach. Check where the outfielders are playing and make a mental note. That information will help you on batted balls into the outfield. Great baserunners get great jumps from second base often because they knew the ball could not be caught before the play actually happened. They knew because they knew where the outfielder was playing and had good judgement on where the ball was hit.

2) Take a short primary lead and an extremely aggressive secondary lead. Your primary lead shouldn't be more than 3 or 4 steps off the bag. 2nd Base is the easiest base to get picked off at, so that is why we take a short primary lead. Also, be aware of the fake overthrow play, where the pitcher spins and fakes a throw and both middle infielders dive and start running into center field. Personally, I don't like the play, but you will look silly if you start for 3rd because you will be put out. Start your secondary lead as soon as the pitcher's front foot comes off the ground. The secondary lead is different from 1st base. Here we will shuffle and slide toward 3rd, as if we were playing defense in basketball. Again, you must immediately make a move to 3rd or make a move back to 2nd at the end of your secondary lead. Do not stand around in a stationary position!

3) Watch the PITCHER, NOT THE MIDDLE INFIELDERS! Focus on his back foot.....If it comes off the ground or starts to spin, GET BACK.

4) If there is no runner at 1st base forcing you to advance on ground balls with less than 2 outs, you should GO on ground balls hit at you or behind you. Do not hesitate. On balls hit in front of you (to your right), you should wait and read the infielders throw.

5) When there are two outs, take a staggered primary lead and stay in that line as you take your routine secondary lead. This allows you to turn at third base without swinging out before the bag. The reason we do this is because nine times out of ten we will take the chance of scoring on a base hit from 2nd base with two outs. Plan on going!

6) When running from 2nd base, advance to 3rd as though you will keep going toward home. The 3rd base coach can only stop you. Avoid station to station running. In other words, do not go to third and wait for the coach to send you home. You are going home unless the coach stops you. You must advance toward 3rd full speed with the intention of scoring.

7) Tag at 2nd base on all foul pops or fly balls. If you are not sure if the ball is foul, rely on your basecoach on the side of the field where the ball has been hit. Otherwise, only tag on fly balls that appear to be sure outs but are deep enough that you can beat the outfielder's throw to third base. Most of these fly balls are hit to center and right. It is very rare to tag on a ball hit to left field. 8) If the steal is on, take your normal short primary...then advance into a more aggressive position as the pitcher comes set. From there, you can steal 3rd base if you get a good jump. If you pay attention to the pitchers as the game progresses, you may see a pattern of pitchers looking once or twice, then throwing to the plate. If you pick up a pattern, take your primary lead, extend it, then allow the pitcher to look the patterned number of times. As soon as his head turns after his last look, take off. You will steal easily.

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