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Oklahoma/OkSt. game on ESPN the other day. Runner on first. Runner steals second, batter swings through the pitch and his bat hangs directly over home plate on the follow through. Catcher pops up and cocks his arm to throw down to second, but instead turns away without attempting a throw because he would have been gunning his hand directly into the bat.
The umpire sent the runner back to first, recorded the pitch as a strike, and allowed the at-bat to continue.
Was this an option or should the ump have had to chose between a) calling the batter out and sending the runner back and b) allowing the runner to stay at 2nd for the catchers failure to attempt a throw?
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I also did not understand this call. The local paper said that the plate umpire called "interference" on the batter. The umpire crew chief cited rule 6.2-d, dead ball and the runner goes back to first. "The batter is not out because there is no interference" said umpire crew chief. Does this sound right with the rest of the umps on here? Rob

I was also watching the game and was wondering what the ruling was. Here are the two possible rulings taken from the NCAA Rule Book:

Rule 6-2 (d) – Immediate Dead Ball, Runners Return
d. If a batter swings and misses a pitch and the backswing is so forceful
that it hits the catcher as the pitch is caught, or if the batter hits the ball
again, the pitch shall be called a strike, the ball is dead (no interference)
and no runner shall advance on the play;
(1) If the interference occurs in a situation where the batter normally
would become a runner because of a third strike not held by the
catcher, the ball shall be dead and the batter declared out. (No runner
shall advance on interference.)
(2) If the catcher has possession of the ball and is in the act of throwing
or preparing to throw and the batter interferes with the catcher, the
batter shall be declared out provided the throw does not retire the
runner. If the interference occurs after the third strike, the batter and
runner shall be called out and it will be ruled a double play.

Rule 7-11 (f) A batter is out when:
f. The batter intentionally or unintentionally interferes with the catcher’s
fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any
other movement that hinders a defensive player’s action at home plate.
PENALTY for f. —The runner(s) return to the base occupied at the time of

I really don't want to criticise the umpire for it may be an approved interpretation; however, it seems like Rule 7-11 (f) is more applicable.

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