In the bottom of the second inning of Ole Miss’s 16-1 win over Alcorn State on Wednesday night second baseman Peyton Chatagnier took off for second base on a pick-off attempt. The play quickly entered baseball lore as Alcorn State ignored the basics of baseball’s defensive principles and the junior took full advantage of it.
Let’s break this down, shall we?
The short stop is the one who gets to the bag and you can see the second baseman jogging into cover any errant throws. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but half a second later the defensive break down begins.
Do you see it yet? If not, let me show you…
That right there is Braves’ third baseman Payton Baylis. And the decision he made in this situation is going to give his coaching staff — along with all high school and little league coaches across the country — an aneurysm. There is absolutely no reason for him to be over here; the second base man had begun to move over to cover and is clearly in the shot after the play was over.
Baylis has now left third base completely uncovered. This is a fact that did not escape Chatagnier’s attention and he took off for the vacant base. It was an easy foot race for the second baseman to win…except for the fact that another Braves’ player made a similarly poor decision.
Catcher Garrett Palladino had come sprinting up the third baseline to cover third. The correct play would have been for short stop Tyler Daniels to eat it and get the ball back to the pitcher to bring an end to the entire sequence of events, but Daniels reacted on autopilot when he saw someone covering the bag and threw it.
If Palladino doesn’t react on base instinct and run towards third, it’s likely that Daniels does the appropriate thing, hold onto the ball. Instead that’s not what happened which left home completely uncovered for the junior to steal all three bases and extend the Rebels’ lead out to four.
Baseball is wild.
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Photo Credit: Ole Miss athletic communications