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Tips for Tagging Up
5/20/2010
No matter what level you play at, tagging up and advancing to the next base on a fly ball is a critical base-running skill.

It takes heads-up play, good timing and practice.

Here are some tips for tagging up on a fly ball:

As a runner on first base: On fly balls to right field, you want to go about 1/4 of the way to second base; to center field, about 1/3 of the way; and to left field, about 1/2 of the way. You should be under control and watching the ball so that you can quickly turn and get back to first in the event the catch is made so that you are not doubled up.

As a runner on second base: On fly balls that appear to be catchable, go back to the bag so you can tag up. Watch the ball all the way and don't leave too early, or the other team may appeal. On balls to the right side that drop, go to third, and on balls to left side that drop, advance to third on the throw, but make sure the left fielder makes the throw first.

As a runner on third base: On fly balls, go back to the bag so that you can tag up. Watch the ball all the way and don't leave early. In baseball, you generally do not want a large primary lead, but you do want a good secondary lead. Your primary and secondary lead should be taken in foul territory, so that if batted ball should hit you, you would not be out and it would merely be a foul ball.

Your secondary lead should be a controlled but fast-walking lead and should not stop until you see that the catcher has control of the ball. Do not start heading back to the bag until you see that the catcher has control. If the catcher does have control then quickly turn and head back to the bag in fair territory. This will prevent the catcher from getting a direct, straight throw to the bag and may result in the ball deflecting off you, allowing you to advance home. If the ball gets by the catcher, your fast-walking lead should allow you to advance home most of the time.

As always, it is critical to listen and watch your base coaches and know the situation at all times.

Visit RawlingsGear.com or contact a Rawlings Gear Customer Care representative at (866) 678-GEAR(4327) for information on tools to conduct base running drills.
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