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Base Knock: Baseball Lingo Explained (With Examples)

Whenever you’re watching a baseball game on tv or in the stands, it’s common to hear someone exclaim that a hitter had a “great knock” or a “base knock”. This may sound like a weird term to be used in baseball, but it turns out this term has been used for a long time. What is a knock in baseball?

Behind home plate during a baseball game at Coors Field with overlaying text that reads "What is a Base Knock In Baseball?"

A “knock”, sometimes called a “base knock”, is another way to describe a well-hit single in baseball. When a player hits a knock, there is no doubt they are safely making it to first base.

If you look for baseball’s definition of a knock on other websites, like Wikipedia or SportsLingo, they mention that a knock is simply another word for a hit. But in my experience, a knock in baseball is a way to describe a batter who hit the ball well and got a single.

In addition to describing a base hit, the term “knock” has a couple of other variations that are used in the game of baseball to help describe what type of knock the batter hit. I’ll also cover those variations in this article.

What is a Base Knock in Baseball?

Baseball is full of lingo and some of it may sound weird if you’re hearing it for the first time. When people hear the term “knock” they typically think of someone knocking on a door, but baseball uses a different meaning.

In baseball, “base knock” refers to a player getting a base hit. A base knock is most commonly used to describe a single that was hit well, but it can also be paired with additional words to give more context to a play.

In my experience, there are four main ways someone can use the word “knock” to describe a play:

  • When a player hits a ball well and there is no doubt the play will result in a single, the player has hit a “base knock”
  • Whenever a player hits for extra bases, you can put the number of bases earned in front of the phrase “base knock” to more accurately describe the base hit
  • You could put the number of runs scored before the phrase “base knock” to describe how many RBIs the batter received
  • You could put the number of outs in the inning to describe how many outs there were when a player hit a base knock

Let’s cover each of those scenarios in detail.

“Base Knock” Refers to a Single

The most basic use of the phrase “base knock” is to describe a player hitting a single.

When fans, coaches, and players use this phrase, they are not just referring to any type of base hit. They are referring to a batter who made solid contact with the pitch and there was no doubt the batter was getting a single.

Some examples of the way players would use this phrase during a game would be “Nice knock!”, “Good base knock”, and “That’s a solid knock”.

Below are two examples of a base knock in baseball. What makes these hits a base knock is how the batters squared up the ball and there was no doubt they were getting on first base.

Put the Number of Bases Earned Before the Phrase “Base Knock”

For more context on when a base knock refers to an extra-base hit, it’s common to put the number of bases earned before the phrase “base knock”.

“Two-Base Knock” Refers to a Double

The most common type of extra-base hit is a double. A majority of the time a player hits a double, they made solid contact with the ball.

When a player has a great hit and reaches second base with no errors committed by the defense, it’s common to say that this player hit a “two-base knock”.

There are some other ways to say that a player got a double in baseball, but if you hear that a player hit a two-base knock, you know that means they hit a great-looking double.

“Three-Base Knock” Refers to a Triple

Similar to how there are multiple ways to say that a baseball player hit a double, there are also multiple ways to say that a player hit a triple. One of those ways is to say that a player hit a three-base knock.

In baseball, a “three-base knock” refers to a player who hit the ball well and earned a triple.

If the ball is hit well enough, the player may not need to slide into third base to earn a triple. But whether or not a player slides into third, they still earned themselves a nice three-base knock.

The “Four-Base Knock”

In my baseball experience, I’ve never actually heard the term “four-base knock”, but if we’re following a similar pattern with a double and a triple, it makes sense that a home run can be called a four-base knock.

In baseball, a four-base knock refers to a player who hit a home run. To be called a four-base knock, the batter could either hit a fair ball over the fence or the batter could hit an in-the-park home run.

In baseball, there are a lot of different ways to refer to a hit as a home run. In fact, if you look at this list of nicknames for home runs on Baseball Reference, you’ll also see that one of the nicknames includes “four-base knock”.

So even though I can’t recall hearing this term to describe a home run, a majority of baseball players should understand that a four-base knock is another saying for a home run.

Put the Number of Runs Scored Before the Phrase “Base Knock”

When a batter gets a base hit, they may end up driving in some runs. Whenever a batter drives in runs with a well-hit single, players tend to say how many runs were scored while still referring to the hit as a base knock.

At most, 3 RBI’s will score on a base knock, but a three-run base knock almost never happens. For a three-run base knock to occur, a player needs to hit a single with the bases loaded and drive in all of those runs. In these scenarios, a batter has hit the ball well enough to turn that play into a double so it wouldn’t be considered a base knock, but it would be considered a wonderful extra-base hit.

For this article, we’ll just cover the scenarios of a one-run base knock and a two-run base knock.

A One-Run Base Knock Scores One Run

When a batter makes solid contact with the ball for a single and they drive in one run, it’s common for players, fans, and coaches to say this batter hit a “one-run base knock”.

An example video is below of a one-run base knock. In this video, Adam Duvall made solid contact with the pitch that ended up being placed perfectly in the hole between the shortstop and third baseman. This base knock resulted in one run scoring so it’s referred to as a one-run base knock.

A Two-Run Base Knock Scores Two Runs

If a batter makes solid contact with the ball and two runs scored, it’s common to refer to that play as a “two-run base knock”.

The video below is a great example of a two-run base knock. This video should start around the 0:48 second mark, which is right before the player hits a base knock to drive in the runners on second and third base.

Put the Number of Outs Before the Phrase “Base Knock”

Another way to give more context to a base knock is by referencing how many outs there were when the batter got a base hit. This can be used to describe the importance of the base knock or just to give someone more of an idea of what the situation was like for the hitter when they earned their base knock.

One-Out Base Knock is a Single with One Out

A great hit can happen at any time during a game, but sometimes it’s helpful to let someone know there was one out when the player was up to bat.

In baseball, a one-out base knock is a way to describe a batter who got a well-hit single while there was one out in the inning.

Two-Out Base Knock is a Single with Two Outs

When people hear that there are two outs in an inning, they immediately understand that the batter has a little bit more pressure to get on base. So it helps provide some context to a play when someone describes it as a two-out base knock.

In baseball, a two-out base knock refers to a batter who got a well-hit single while there were two outs in the inning.

Below is a great example of a batter hitting a two-out base knock:

Other Baseball Terminology That Includes “Knock”

The term “knock” actually shows up in a few other areas of baseball. And even though a knock typically refers to a base hit, it can sometimes mean something else when it’s used in a different context. Let’s cover a couple of those phrases where “knock” is also used in baseball.

Knock In

In baseball, “knock in” refers to a base hit that resulted in an RBI.

Knock Off

In baseball, “knock off” is another way to say that one team beat another team. A lot of times this term is used in a tournament where one team can “knock off” another team from the tournament bracket.

Knocked the Cover Off of The Ball

When a batter hits the ball with a lot of speed, the batter is said to have “knocked the cover off of the ball”.

Knock it Down

“Knock it down” in baseball refers to an infielder stopping a line drive or a hard-hit ground ball from leaving the infield. Sometimes, the infielder is even able to throw out the runner at first.

Knocked it Out of the Park

“Knocked it out of the park” is another phrase for a home run.

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Steve Nelson

I'm the owner of Baseball Training World. I live in Denver, Colorado and I enjoy playing baseball in an adult baseball team in the surrounding area. Read more about Steve Nelson.

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