North Western Titans were left to rue a poor start against Pakenham in Baseball Victoria summer league division 3 on Saturday.
In their first match since Christmas, the Titans had no chance to settle back into play against the ladder leaders.
The Panthers didn’t waste any time, hitting six runs in the opening innings to take control of the game, which they won 11-1.
Titans coach Danny Haymes said it was a disappointing start. He was more pleased with how they responded.
“We struggled to hit the ball first game back,” he said.
“They scored six runs in the first innings which didn’t help us. They scored just another five for the rest of the game.
“It was one of those games.”
It’s a second straight game the Titans have been left to rue one poor inning.
In the game before Christmas, they went from leading to losing after conceding eight runs in an innings.
Haymes said it was one thing they needed to get out of their games. He said it meant the side’s improvement has not being reflected in the score. The other area Haymes said they need to improve was batting.
“We just need to get out there and hit,” he said.
“The top sides do that and we’ve been working hard on the batting.
“We’re leaving so many players on bases and not getting the hits when we need them.”
Haymes said Scott Sell and pitcher Matt Martin were the two standouts for the side in the loss.
Two late withdrawals meant Sell had to play on second base for the first time.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Titans on Saturday, with the seconds coming from behind to defeat Pakenham.
The win keeps the Titans finals’ hopes alive. The Titans sit sixth, three wins behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
Haymes said the seconds were benefiting from players in both sides returning from injury.
The Titans play second-placed St Kilda this week.
Haymes said despite just two wins for the season, there was a lot to be thankful for.
“We have to remember we’re looking at more a long-term goal,” he said.
“There’s lots of positive signs and we’re not falling behind.
“We’ll certainly look to win a couple of games in the run home and finish the season on a high.”
The Titans, which have a bye in two weeks time, will host a Wagga Wagga team for a three-game series on February 3 and 4.
The Titans played games in Wagga during the off season.