We've already learned one way batters can get on base, which is by drawing a walk. Batters can also get on base by hitting the baseball. If the batter successfully makes contact with the pitch and the baseball lands in fair territory, the batter becomes a batter-runner and must try and reach first base. If the fielders cannot throw the batter-runner out on time, he can safely reach a base. This is called a base hit. A base hit is an umbrella term for any hit that results in a batter-runner safely reaching a base.
Singles, Doubles, and Triples
Choosing What Base To Stop At
The reason a batter-runner would stop at a certain base, as opposed to trying to reach a more advanced base, is based on a judgment call by the player and/or the base coaches. If the fielders have successfully collected the baseball and could reasonably throw the baseball to the next base before the batter reaches it, the batter would prefer to stop at an earlier base. Hard hit baseballs usually result in the batter reaching a higher base, because it would take the outfielders more time to get the baseball back to the infield in order to throw the batter out.