Baseball Outs

What is an out? How many outs are an in inning? Get ready to learn about outs in baseball and how they affect the structure of a game.


We've already learned about innings and the structure of a baseball game in chapter 2.2: Baseball Innings. A half-inning ends with three (3) outs are made.

Now, let's dive deeper and explain the concept of an out.


An out is a concept in baseball that describes when a player, who is either currently at-bat or on-base as a baserunner, is taken out of play. The team at-bat is on offense. Once they get three (3) outs, the half-inning is over and teams switch roles on the field.

Baseball Out

Each team on offense has an indefinite number of chances to score per each half-inning. However, their chances are limited by outs.

Getting Out

There are lots of ways players can get out in baseball.

Strike Out

All pitches in baseball result in either a strike, ball, or foul for the batter. Three (3) strikes and the batter is out. This is called a strikeout. A strike can happen in two (2) ways:

  1. Any pitch that ends up in the batter's strikezone and is not swung at by the batter.
  2. Any time the batter attempts to swing at a pitch and misses. This is called a swing and miss.

We'll learn more about the strike zone in future chapters. For now, understand that the strikezone is an imaginary 3D rectangle above home plate that is the width of home plate and the height between the batter's knee and chest. If the pitch is inside the strikezone, it is a strike; if it is outside the strikezone, it is a ball (which we will learn about in future chapters). The home plate umpire determines whether or not a pitch is in the strikezone.

Baseball Strikeout

REMEMBER: If the batter has zero (0) or one (1) strike and he hits a foul ball, it counts as a strike. If the batter has two (2) strikes and he hits a foul ball, it does not count as a strike.

Caught Ball

If the batter hits a baseball into the air and a player on the defensive team catches it, the batter is out.

Tag Out

An offensive player can also become out when he is not batting. When an offensive player is no longer at-bat and is instead attempting to advance bases, he is called a baserunner/runner. Baserunners cannot be out if they are touching the last base they safely advanced to.

Tag outs occur when a baserunner is not touching the base (off-base), and a fielder who is in possession of the baseball touches the runner with the ball or their glove.

Thrown Out

A runner can also be thrown out. This happens when the baseball is thrown to a fielder occupying the next base the runner is advancing to. Once the fielder has possession of the baseball he steps on the base and, if he steps on the base before the runner reaches it, the runner is out.

Force Out

Two (2) baserunners cannot occupy the same base at the same time. If two (2) baserunners occupy consecutive bases, and the latter baserunner attempts to advance bases, the baserunner in front of him must also advance the same number of bases. If a baserunner is tagged or thrown out because he was forced to leave his base in this situation, it is called a force out.

Baseball Force Out

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