Case Book Play 3.2.3 SITUATION:With all that said, could interference be called on the first base coach? He left the box and then returned to it in the middle of the play? Would it change the call if he was actually hit by the ball. Would it matter if the coach did it on purpose?
The third base coach is accidently hit by a thrown ball when standing in (a) the coach's box, (b) foul territory, (c) fair territory...
There is no penalty in (a) and (b), and the ball remains live. In (c), it is automatic interference.
Your play would be covered under "(b)" here.
Intent is the key. If, in the umpire's judgment, the coach positioned himself intentionally between F3 and home plate, then interference has occurred. The ball is dead, R1 (runner from second) is declared out and all runners return to the base last occupied at the time of interference.
If the umpire judges no intent, then the ball remains live, whether or not the throw is made and whether or not the ball touches the coach if the throw is made.