Five is the magic number for Sunshine Eagles in Baseball Victoria summer league division 1.
When the Eagles score five or more runs, they are a close to impregnable, as a 6-1 record illustrates. But when the Eagles fall short of that offensive marker, they are 2-5.
The Eagles could only manage two runs against western suburbs rivals Newport Rams and predictably suffered a 3-2 loss at KC White Reserve on Saturday.
Eagles baseball director Marc McKenner says that if five runs are scored, their pitching and defence will keep the opposition at bay.
But at the weekend, Sunshine did everything but put runs on the board.
The Eagles had a massive 15 hits, but could not convert with runners in scoring positions, leaving 12 players stranded on base.
“We left a lot of runners on, so that was a bit of an issue,” McKenner said.
“Apart from that, we played good defence, we pitched really well, we obviously hit well because we had so many guys on base, but we just didn’t take our opportunities when they came.
“Situationally, we didn’t do a really good job today.”
Griffin Weir lasted three innings for Sunshine on the mound, but he was only going to be used for a short stint after pitching mid-week.
Player-coach Jared Van Hoon picked up the baton and was impressive for the remaining six innings.
While the concession of just three runs is usually enough to get a win on the board, it is even more frightening for Sunshine’s upcoming opponents, with Melbourne Aces-tied pitcher Jeremy Young, Adam Irons and Rory Meddick ready for action for the upcoming two games in three days – against Waverley at the Melbourne Ballpark tomorrow night and Geelong at Barclay Reserve on Saturday.
“Pitching-wise, we’re fine – it’s just getting to that five runs,” McKenner said.
Despite the loss, Sunshine earned a split against the Rams, having come back to win 4-3 in a mid-week thriller at Barclay Reserve.
The Eagles remain half a game clear on top of the ladder and continue to be the surprise packet in a tough division.
“The season so far, we couldn’t be happier with where we are,” McKenner said. “We’re playing a really good style of baseball.
“Jared’s doing a great job of coaching everybody.
“He’s got a great baseball knowledge and he runs games really well, and the guys are doing a great job.”