League leaders Sunshine lacked the killer instinct in a narrow 5-4 loss to Berwick City in the Baseball Victoria summer league division 1 on Saturday.
The Eagles were made to rue their inability to turn base runners into runs on a frustrating day.
Eagles coach Stuart Clayton said the difference between the two sides was Berwick City’s efficiency in the batters box.
“We out-hit them 12 to six, but we left 15 runners on base,” he said. “We just didn’t hit the ball when we needed to and it cost us.
“Every time they got a runner at second base, they got a hit and they were lucky enough to score from them.”
Jeremy Young started on the mound for Sunshine, lasting six innings. Young was not at his best, but the lack of run support did not help, as he left with a 5-1 deficit.
“He wasn’t 100 per cent on today, but he pitched well,” Clayton said.
Riley Barr worked relief for Sunshine for three scoreless innings.
Barr’s tidy work gave the Eagles an opportunity to launch a late comeback.
The Eagles managed to get to within one run after scoring three unanswered runs.
With bases loaded in the ninth inning, youngster Nikau Pouaka-Grego had the chance to be the hero for the Eagles, but he picked out a fielder with a well struck shot up the middle.
“If it goes a foot either side of the fielder, maybe you get a hit and you score a couple of extra runs,” Clayton said.
“He’s had that opportunity two or three times for us this year and come through every time.
“Today was the only one he didn’t.
“He’s been really good for us, he just missed out today.”
Jason Tutt, Alister Lovelock and Jordan Young had three hits apiece for Sunshine.
Despite the loss, Sunshine is still the team to beat in the competition, sitting comfortably on top of the ladder.
The Eagles will get a chance for payback against Berwick City as the home side at Barclay Reserve on Saturday.