A sacrifice bunt is a bunt that is used to move a runner into scoring position, while usually getting the batter out. If a runner is on second base, for example, a bunt that moves him to third base due to a throw out at first is a sacrifice. Sacrifice bunts can be very useful to baseball teams, especially in close games. Unfortunately, a lot of baseball players do not know how to properly sacrifice bunt. Sacrifice bunts are rarely used at the pee-wee and even high school levels, and thus coaches rarely teach bunting technique. The exact form used when bunting can vary, but you need to be confident and comfortable in your stance. Read below for more tips on how to lay down the perfect sacrifice bunt.
One of the most important aspects of a sacrifice bunt is your grip on the bat. Your bottom hand should stay in its current spot near the bottom of the bat. The hand that would normally be placed right on top of this should move up the barrel of the bat, usually around the area that the bat begins to widen. Hold this part of the bat, generally around eight to 12 inches above your bottom hand, with your thumb and index finger. This will make sure your fingers are not exposed to the ball, and it will give you the ability to move the bat as necessary.
The only motion needed when bunting is a pivot. This is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the sacrifice bunt, as many coaches teach to square up with the pitcher. That creates unnecessary motion, however. All that is needed is a simple pivoting of the feet toward the pitcher. This will put you in a position where you can square up the bat to the pitcher and easily lay down your bunt. Plus, you will already be in position to run.
When holding the bat out in front of you and waiting for the pitch, have the bat tilted at a 45-degree angle. The goal of a sacrifice bunt is to get the ball on the ground. A tilted bat increases your chances of getting the ball on the ground, while one that is parallel to the ground can often lead to popping the ball into the air.
As the pitch comes, do not lunge after the ball. Let the ball come to the bat, giving a little just before the ball hits it. Start with the bat at the top of the strike zone, and lower yourself at the knees if the pitch is lower. Do not turn the angle of the bat, but rather use your body to get the bat into position. If the ball is thrown above your bat level, you can let it go, as it will not be a strike.
Lastly, you will need to bunt the ball to the proper location. In most cases, you will be bunting toward the first baseman to allow a runner to move to either second or third base.