In this circumstance, the runner must go and tag up because the fielder ultimately caught the ball. The runner can, however, advance (tag up) from his base as soon as the fielder touches it. If the runner fails to advance immediately, he is out.
By rule, baserunners must tag up when a fly ball is caught in flight by a fielder, and in such situations, they are out if any fielder with possession of the ball touches their starting base before they do. After a legal tag up, runners are free to attempt to advance, even if the ball was caught in foul territory. If a runner fails to reach his base before the end of the inning, he is considered out.
This is one of the most confusing rules in baseball. Let's break it down: A baserunner is out if he does not touch his base with both feet before the end of an inning. However, if a baserunner tags up legally and then attempts to advance after a catch is made, he is not out. Instead, the batter gets another turn at bat.
Here is where things get tricky. If a baserunner fails to tag up and a play can be made on the ball, any member of the fielding team may make a "forceout". You can think of this as a double play situation but instead of the hitter going to third, they stay in place. The forceout can only be made if the ball is touched by a member of the defending team before it reaches the ground. If this happens, the batter is out. Otherwise, he would be allowed to continue running.
For example, let's say that a runner is standing on first base when a ball is hit to center field.
Can base runners still tag up and advance if an outfielder catches a long foul ball? Yes, a runner may always tag up on a fly ball, regardless of where it is caught. A runner cannot advance on a groundball unless the ball is hit directly to him/her, but they can run all they want on pop-ups and liners.
In other words, if an outfielder makes a catch, you should not worry about your teammates being safe because they will be able to come from behind later in the game. However, if a batter hits a ball hard and it doesn't reach an outfielder, that could be trouble for your team. Keep an eye out for balls that aren't reached easily by fielders. If one is lost in the sun or under some furniture, it might land near the back fence instead of being captured.
The only time a runner cannot tag up is if the ball is hit into a double play situation. In this case, they would have been out anyway so there's no need to risk injury by rushing things.
Here are some more tips for foul ball fans: If you're sitting in a crowded stadium and see a ball sail over the fence, go find out who hit it. It could be just what your team needs to get going.
To tag up in baseball is for a baserunner to retouch or remain on their starting base (the time-of-pitch base) until (or after) the ball arrives in fair area or is first touched by a fielder. When a fly ball is caught in flight by a fielder, baserunners are required to tag up. If they don't, they could be called for interference.
The purpose of this rule is to prevent a runner from gaining extra bases by staying on his/her starting base. If a batter hits into a double play and there are runners on either side of the batter, those runners must also tag up. This ensures that both players are positioned correctly before the next pitch, and also prevents a player from avoiding an out by remaining on his/her starting base while the ball is being played by fielders elsewhere on the field.
Baserunning is one of the most important aspects of baseball. While some coaches may debate this assertion, it's generally accepted that someone who can move people up and down the batting order effectively will have a positive impact on their team. There are several ways to beat a pitcher out in baseball, and many of them involve the use of baserunning. A manager may choose to walk a batter in order to force him/her into taking a strikeout. Or, he/she might choose to hit with men on base in hopes of scoring some runs.