Anyone who's played baseball knows that there's a lot more to the game than just trying to hit a ball. It's hard for a lot of people to conceive how this could be possible considering there aren't many opportunities to run plays in baseball like you can in football and basketball. While that may be the case most of the time, the game gets a lot more complicated with runners on the bases.

The most complex of all situations in baseball comes when there are runners on first base and third base. If the player on first takes off for second and the catcher attempts to throw him out, the runner on third has an open window to steal home. Because of that, the defense needs to be creative in ultimately preventing the run from scoring without giving away free bases. Here are some unique ways to protect against a costly first-and-third double steal:

♦ The shortstop sneaks in behind the pitcher as the catcher gets up to throw. If the runner on third takes off for home, the shortstop can catch the ball and throw it right back to the plate.
♦ The catcher fakes to second and snaps a quick throw to third trying to catch the lead runner off guard.
♦ The defense moves as they would if there were no runner on third, and the catcher throws a bullet back to the pitcher, who returns the ball to home.

Right before the first pitch is thrown in first-and-third situations, catchers should notify their infielders what play they will be running by making signs on their baseball jerseys or baseball pants gear. They should refrain from yelling play names or making basic hand gestures so opponents can't catch on.