Last updated on May 17th, 2023 at 09:30 am
Every inning in baseball has six out broken down with three for the visiting team and three for the home team. The next inning starts when all six outs occur between both sides during a baseball game. However, there are instances where all six outs don’t need to happen for baseball games to conclude.
Here is the complete breakdown of how many outs are in an inning from an MLB game to Little League.
What is an Out in a Game of Baseball?
An out means that a hitter or baserunner was retired from play during the game. Here are a few examples of outs during a game of baseball and softball to help explain this in more detail.
Third Strike Your Out
Baseball players up to bat have three strikes before they get out. A hitter can strike out by swinging on the third strike or looking at the third strike. The strike zone is typically between a hitter’s knee cap to below their shoulders and the width of the home plate. However, sometimes bad calls occur during games where a player might strikeout looking even if the pitch was a ball.
Getting Out at the Base
If a player makes contact with the baseball when they are batting, they need to get to first base before the first baseman catches the ball while having one foot on the base. They are out if they can’t touch first base before the throw beats them there. They can also get thrown out at second base if they attempt to get two bases instead of one on their hit.
A Player Catches the Baseball in the Air Before it Bounces
If a hitter pops the ball to an outfielder and catches it without hitting the ground, the hitter is out. The same goes with poping up or lining the ball to an infielder. If they catch the ball without it hitting the ground, the hitter is automatically out.
Out on the Basepaths
A baserunner can record an out trying to get to the next base during a game. For example, a baserunner might attempt to steal the third base but can’t touch the base before getting tagged out by the infielder from the catcher or pitcher’s throw.
How Long Does an Inning Take to Complete in Baseball?
Unlike the NFL, NBA, and NHL, baseball games don’t have a clock. Some innings can take a few minutes, while others can take upwards of 30 minutes or more if there is a lot of scoring. Most baseball games need 3 hours to complete, so it is safe to assume that each inning, on average, takes about twenty minutes to finish. This three hours breakdown assumes that there are no rain delays or extra innings.
What is the Top / Bottom of a Baseball Inning?
Major League Baseball down to Little League all have a top and a bottom inning. The top of the inning is for the visiting team to bat until they get out three times. During the bottom of the inning, the home team is at-bat to score runs until they record three outs. The middle half-inning is when the teams change sides and usually only two minutes.
What Happens if the Home Team is Winning after the Top of the Ninth Inning?
If the home team is winning after the top of the ninth, the game is over. There is no full inning of six outs necessary because it doesn’t matter anymore. A Major League or Minor League Baseball concludes after nine innings if the home team is winning, so it doesn’t matter if the home team bats in the bottom half of the inning. The half of the inning at the top of the ninth already ended who won the baseball match.
However, if the home team is losing after the top of the ninth inning, they have one more chance via three outs to either tie the game or win it in the bottom of the ninth. If they tie the game during the bottom of the ninth inning, the game moves to extra innings after all three outs occur.
How Many Outs are there in MLB Extra Innings?
Extra innings occur if the bottom of the ninth concludes without a winner. Extra innings are six outs per inning, with three for the visiting team and three for the home team. If neither team is winning after that first full extra inning, then the game moves to the following extra inning and so on. There is no cap to the number of innings during extra innings, but the number of outs always stays the same with six per inning.
Can a Pitcher Record a Strikeout and Not get an Out?
An uncaught third strike can record a strikeout for a pitcher but not record an out. This uncaught strike occurs when a pitcher gets a hitter to swing and miss on strike three, but the ball gets by the catcher. The hitter needs to beat the throw to first base once the ball gets by the catcher. If the runner makes it to first base safely before the throw gets there, they can stay on first base as a runner since no out was recorded.
Do All 27 Outs Against Your Opponent Need to Occur to Win a Professional Baseball Game?
During the regular season in MLB, games are official after 15 outs, and one team is winning. It is up to the grounds crew and the umpire to judge if the baseball game should resume later that day or be called an official game. If the umpire and the grounds crew confirm that the weather won’t get better, then the team winning after recording 15 outs against their opponent wins the game.
Do Baseball Teams Need at Least 27 Outs to Win During the Playoffs and World Series?
Unlike the regular season, where a team could win a game after 15 outs, the postseason and World Series requires a minimum of 27 outs for one team to win. Bud Selig, the former commissioner, made that baseball rule clear during the 2008 World Series.
During the 2008 World Series, game five between the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies got suspended in the 6th inning during a tie game due to rain. Even if one of the teams was winning, they would still need to complete the remaining innings and not call it an official game. Game 5 resumed two days later due to the bad weather out in Philadelphia.
How Many Outs in an Inning in Minor League Baseball?
Minor League Baseball Games have six outs per inning. The top of the inning has the away team hit, while the bottom has the home team hit.
How Many Outs in an Inning in NCAA College Baseball?
NCAA College Baseball games have six outs per inning.
How Many Outs in an Inning in High School Baseball?
High School Baseball games have six outs per inning. High School Baseball games tend to have less number of innings than you will find for college, Minor League, and MLB games. Most games conclude at seven innings for a complete game.
How Many Outs in an Inning in Little League Baseball?
Little League Baseball has six outs per inning. The number of innings is less than a typical High School baseball game.
How Many Outs in an Inning in Softball?
Softball games have six outs per inning.
Conclusion: How Many Outs in an Inning of Baseball
In summary, there are always six outs per inning in baseball, with three for each team. The hitting team is trying to score runs, while the pitching team is attempting to record outs. While the number of innings may differ between professional and amateur leagues, the number of outs doesn’t.
Greg Kristan, owner of The Stadium Reviews, LLC and TM Blast, LLC, brings his extensive experience visiting over half of the MLB ballparks, along with numerous MLS, NHL, NBA, and NFL venues, to provide in-depth coverage on the bag policy, food options, and parking. He has also been interviewed about his experiences on several sports podcasts.