They have the best rivalry in Illawarra baseball, with Wests Cardinals and Dapto Chiefs set to deliver a cracking best-of-three grand final series which begins at Hector Harvey Park this afternoon.
Cardinals lead the head-to-head series 2-0, including a 6-5 win in the major semi-final a fortnight ago, but two other games were drawn leaving skippers Craig Leighton (Chiefs) and Trent D'Antonio (Cards) predicting a tight premiership decider.
"There's been nothing in it all season and the grand final should be just as intense and even," D'Antonio said.
"Any advantage you can find you need to take it. We know we have to play to our best, particularly defensively, which we haven't so far against Chiefs and Chiefs will feel the same way."
Illawarra Baseball officials yesterday switched the grand finals in all five grades to Hector Harvey Park, following concerns over the state of Berkeley's Fred Finch Park.
Dalton Park remains on standby for tomorrow's first grade Game 2, plus the minor league deciders.
Leighton said the Chiefs' premiership triumph last year - their first since 2001, plus the 7-4 win over Braves last Sunday with a side racked by injuries and key players missing - had lifted their confidence.
"The premiership was a massive boost for us, knowing we could get there and win it," said the 17-season veteran.
"We'd had near misses, losses in big games so it was a huge breakthrough win last year.
"And last week was phenomenal to beat Braves considering the players we had out.
"Outside a grand final it was one of the really big wins for the club, knowing what the younger guys gave us and how we dug deep in adversity."
Grand final pitching will be crucial and with two games in 24 hours both clubs know victory in Game 1 will put pressure on the loser.
Cardinals will likely have their ace Blake Handley as Game 1 starter, but D'Antonio hasn't ruled out using Scott Sartori - an option to start tomorrow's Game 2 - as a reliever in Game 1. Chiefs ace Tyson Graham has been battling a sore shoulder but was outstanding going all nine innings against Braves.
And while plenty will rest on Graham and the pitching rotation, Leighton says doing the team things well are just as important.
"We showed against the Braves that if we can win the mental and physical battle, it goes a long way and it'll be the same against Cards."
D'Antonio, a part of four of Cardinals' five premiership wins since 2004, stressed the importance of defence in the decider.
D'Antonio has been invited to spring training with the Sydney Blue Sox again, after averaging .304 with six home runs in 33 games for the Sox in the ABL last season.
But his immediate priority is claiming a fifth title with Cards and first as captain-coach, going head-to-head with his uncle Dom, the Chiefs' head coach.
A deciding Game 3, if required, is next Saturday.
Meanwhile, Cards are into the grand final in the top three grades and face Chiefs in second grade today (11.15am) and Pirates in third grade (9am).
Panthers take on Pirates in tomorrow's fourth grade grand final and Braves face Panthers in fifth grade.
ILLAWARRA BASEBALL GRAND FINALS
All games at Hector Harvey Park
First Grade: Cardinals v Chiefs (Game 1) (1.30pm)
Second Grade: Cardinals v Chiefs (11.15am)
Third Grade: Pirates v Cardinals (9am)
First Grade: Chiefs v Cardinals (Game 2) (1.30pm)
Fourth Grade: Panthers v Pirates (11.15am)
Fifth Grade: Braves v Panthers (9am)
First Grade Game 3 (if required)