There are six ways a batter can reach first base without hitting the ball.
being hit by a pitch;
a dropped third strike;
a pitched or thrown ball intended to catch a runner that “goes into a stand or a bench, or over or through a field fence or backstop” (rule 705[h]);
and when, on a ball four or strike three, a pitch “passes the catcher and lodges in the umpire’s mask or paraphernalia” (rule 705[i]).