What Is A Triple In Baseball? – A Triple Explained!

Well Jeremy…What is a triple in baseball? Can you please explain what a triple actually is?what is a triple in baseball

Howdy friends and welcome back to BaseballXGear!

In today’s post we will finish up our recent series of baseball 101 posts with what I consider to be one of the most exciting offensive plays in the game.

The triple!

Yeah, I know we’re not talking about a grand slam home run, but we are talking about a play that combines good hitting skills and tremendous amount of speed on behalf of the runner.

We will also take a look at a couple of scenarios that result in a batter being credited with a triple.

A triple in softball is explained the same as in baseball. By the way, if you’re interested in seeing the differences in baseball and softball, Check Out This Article.

So without further ado, let’s dig right in.

What is a triple in baseball? – Explanation

A batter is credited with a triple when they hit the ball anywhere on the field in fair territory and are able to reach 3rd base safely without the benefit of a defensive error or fielder’s choice.

In order for the hit to be scored a triple, the batter must safely reach 3rd base and 3rd base only.

Think of a triple as the number 3.

3b = 3 bases. So if a batter hits a triple, they are credited with 3 total bases.

Next, we will take a look at how a defensive error can change the scoring of a triple.

Can an error erase a triple?


Let’s take a look at a quick play in which a defensive error changes the scoring of a play, even if the runner reaches 3rd base safely.


The pitcher delivers the pitch and the batter hits a line drive between the short stop and 3rd baseman.

The runner sees the ball make it through the infield and immediately starts thinking about going to 2nd base.

The left fielder runs up to field the ball, but seeing the runner approaching 2nd base, loses concentration and the how an error erases a tripleball rolls past him.

Our runner sees the error and turns on the jets and heads for 3rd base.

The left fielder recovers and throws the ball to the 3rd baseman, but too late. The runner slides into 3rd base safely ahead of the throw.

So even though the runner has reached 3rd base safely, he will not be credited with a triple due to the defensive error. Remember that the way the play is scored is at the sole discretion of the official scorer.

Assuming the official scorer of the game views the left fielder’s error as the reason why the runner made it safely to 3rd base, the scoring would be: 2b, or double, E – 7.

2b = 2 bases & E – 7 = Error Left Fielder. 7 is the player position number assigned to the left fielder.

The runner would still be credited with a double, but due to the error, he will not be credited with a triple.

If you are not familiar with player position numbers, Read Simple Baseball Rules.

That’s an article we put together that covers most of the basics, including player position numbers.

A triple in baseball explained – Scenarios

Let’s run through a couple of scenarios that result in a batter being credited with a triple.

Example #1

The pitcher delivers the pitch and the batter hits a deep fly ball to center field.

The center fielder runs to the ball and leaps to make the catch, but not quite high enough.

The ball bounces off the center field fence and rolls back into the field.

The batter was off and running from home the instant he hit the ball.

Seeing the ball hit the fence, he immediately starts to think triple.

The center fielder fires the ball to 3rd base, but the throw is a hair too late. The runner slides safely into 3rd base.

Since no errors were committed on the play, the batter is credited with a triple!hitting a triple

Example #2 – Walk Off Triple

It’s the bottom of the 9th inning and the home team is down by 2 runs.

The first 3 batters of the inning have already reached base safely (bases loaded) when our batter comes to the plate.

The pitcher delivers the pitch and the batter hits a sharp line drive over the glove of a leaping 1st baseman.

The batter and the runners are off at the crack of the bat.

The ball hits the ground inside the chalk line and careens off the right field fence and rolls into the corner.

The right fielder gets to the ball and desperately picks it up and fires the ball to home.

The throw is too late and all of the runners who were on base come home to score, while the batter makes it to 3rd base safely.

The batter has hit a bases clearing, walk off triple!

What is a triple in baseball? – That’s a wrap!

When a batter hits the ball in fair territory and is able to reach 3rd base safely before an error occurs, they will be credited with a triple.

If the runner goes on to score during the play, and the official scorer determines it was made possible due to an error, the batter would still only be credited with a triple.

If the runner made it all the way home, without the benefit of an error, that my friends would be called an Inside The Park Home Run.

As you can imagine, a runner has to have a tremendous amount of speed to hit a triple!

I hope you enjoyed this article on what is a triple in baseball and that I thoroughly explained exactly what a triple is.

If I can help you with anything else, please leave a comment below and I will get back with you right away.

Thanks for stopping by ~Jeremy

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