They haven't reached great heights yet in 2020, but the Berkeley Eagles are getting set to soar once again.
It's been a mixed start to the season for the three-time reigning Illawarra Baseball League first grade premiers. Their record stands at 2-2 and Berkeley face a crucial clash against the Chiefs on Saturday afternoon.
"They've [Chiefs] got a really good pitching roster. They've got three or four new guys, they've still got Jason Lott to come back and they've got their ace in 'Simo' so I'm expecting a really tough game," Eagles coach Chad Blanch said.
"Defensively, they're not where we are, but if they're pitching shuts us down it's going to be a tight ball game. So our batters need to be on their game."
Berkeley clinched last year's title with a 5-0 win over the Chiefs in September.
However, losing Australian pitcher Steven Kent and Tim Atherton, who is nursing a hamstring concern, has proven costly for the Eagles so far this season.
Despite the "slow start", Blanch said his team still had high ambitions in 2020.
"We've haven't been as convincing as we've been in the last three years," he said.
"I think we've lost probably more games this year than the last few years combined. We've won two, lost two. The 'Cards' [Cardinals] have done us twice, we've beaten the Pirates and Chiefs comfortably, but the Cards are pretty hot this year.
"We've had a slow start offensively. That's our strength, we're a really good hitting line up. But we didn't have the pre season we normally would and, suddenly, we're playing. We did lose Steven Kent, who was instrumental for us last year, and Timmy Atherton hurt his hamstring against the Pirates a fortnight ago. He's a huge loss in our three-hole spot. He not only pitches, but he's been hitting the ball unreal.
"But we just have to finish top two - there's no semi finals this year. If we can get Timmy back, I'm confident we can get that four [premierships] in a row."