Baseball Basics: What Is A Sacrifice Fly?

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What Is A Sacrifice Fly?

A sacrifice fly is a type of hit in baseball that results in the batter causing the advance of a runner or runner, with the expectation that the batter will be put out. The batter is typically given credit for an RBI (run batted in) for any runner or runners that score directly from the sacrifice fly.

Types Of Sacrifice Flies

There are two types of sacrifice flies:

1. A fielder’s choice sacrifice fly occurs when the batter hits a fly ball and the baserunner(s) advance on an error or fielder’s choice. In this case, the batter is not charged with an at-bat.

2. A bases-loaded sac fly occurs when the bases are loaded, and the batter hits a ball to the outfield, resulting in a runner scoring from third base. In this case, the batter is charged with an at-bat.

What Is A Sacrifice Bunt?

This differs from a sacrifice bunt in that a sacrifice fly requires the ball to be hit into the air and allows the baserunner(s) to advance without needing another play. On the other hand, the bunt is usually used to move runners into scoring positions by bunting the ball along the ground toward first or third base.

Who Gives The Batter Credit?

The official scorer ultimately decides whether or not to credit the batter with an RBI in that situation. However, regardless of whether or not an RBI is awarded, it still counts as an at-bat for the batter. In baseball statistics, the play is denoted by the symbol SF.

Sacrifice Fly’s & Situational Hitting

One of the most important aspects of situational hitting is understanding when and how to utilize a sacrifice fly effectively. With runners on base and less than two outs, hitting a ball to the outfield can score a runner from the third base without needing a timing-based hit like a suicide squeeze or perfectly executed hit-and-run play.

With runners on first and second base and less than two outs, it can also be used to score the runner from second base without needing a perfect bunt or a well-executed stolen base attempt. While a home run is always the preferred outcome, just hitting a fly ball can be an important part of a winning strategy in certain situations.


A sacrifice fly is important for teams looking to maximize their chances of scoring runs during any game. It takes coordination between players and coaching staff, as well as careful execution on behalf of the batter themself, for teams to use this powerful tool effectively.