Baseball has long been considered America’s pastime. While the nuances of the game can be difficult for a first-time spectator to appreciate, the basic operations of an inning are relatively simple. An inning begins with the visiting or away team at bat and the home team occupying the field. Each play begins with the fielding team’s pitcher delivering the ball to the batter. The batting team’s primary objective is to place one or more runners on base and to subsequently move those runners around the bases to home plate in order to score runs.
In addition to hitting the ball successfully, a player can be walked by the pitcher or reach first base due to a fielding error. If a pitcher throws four balls outside of the strike zone during an inning the batter can also be walked to first base.
Batters progress through the batting lineup as the hit the ball or get out. A batter can strike out (by missing the ball) on three pitches, be thrown out at first base, be physically tagged out by a fielder in possession of the ball, or hit a fly ball that is caught out of the air.
After the home team records three outs, they become the offensive team for the bottom half of the inning. If the home team is winning after the top half of the ninth inning, the game is over. If the home team is trailing, they have one last opportunity to tie or win the game. This is known as the "home field advantage."