Baseball Hit Types
In baseball, batting does not only mean a batter's bat makes contact with the baseball. In order to successfully get a hit, the baseball must land in fair territory and the batter-runner must safely reach base. There are many different ways a batter attempts to hit the baseball:
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.
A bunt is a type of hit where the batter holds the bat horizontally above home plate with the intent of redirecting the ball into the infield along the foul lines. Bunts are used in plays such as squeeze plays and sacrifice plays to bring a runner from scoring position home to score a run. If the batter hits a bunt into foul territory it will always count as a strike, even if the count has two strikes recorded. On a bunt, the pitcher or catcher may be responsible for fielding the hit depending on where in the field the ball ends up.
A clean hit is a baseball that lands in fair territory without having been touched by a fielder. It commonly refers to a baseball that travels through the infield without being touched by an infielder, or a baseball that goes over an outfielder's head.
A line drive is a hard-hit baseball that travels fast through the air, but relatively low/close to the ground without bouncing. Line drives can be hard to field unless hit in a fielder's direction, and have a fairly high tendency to become successful hits.
A flyball is a type of hit that goes high into the air and as a result is relatively easy to catch as a fielder. In fact, there is a rule called the infield fly rule that is called by an umpire that assumes the fielder will catch the flyball and it is automatically recorded as an out, even if the fielder drops it. Some flyballs can be difficult to catch, especially if the weather conditions are tough. Fielders will wear caps and sunglasses to make sure to block out flares from the sun when catching flyballs. Communication is important between fielders in case two fielders think they are responsible for catching the flyball.
Squaring up in baseball is the act of the batter making solid, strong contact with the ball. This occurs when the batter swings in such a way that the bat is level and the ball makes contact with the center of the barrel of the bat. It requires excellent hand-eye coordination and usually leads to farther and stronger hits.