Canberra Cavalry manager Michael Collins insists his team is not struggling to handle its rise from underdog to top dog, after last week's disastrous Brisbane series put its competition lead in jeopardy.
The Australian Baseball League pacesetters were stunned 5-0 by a Bandits side hell-bent on a finals spot, which places huge importance on the Cavalry's crunch home series against Sydney this week.
Canberra's forgettable trip north was a massive shock after the Cavalry had dominated home and away series against defending champions Perth.
Sydney swept last week's series against Melbourne Aces to draw level with the Cavalry in first place with a 22-16 record.
Having looked assured of top spot and championship series hosting rights, the Bandits debacle means even a finals spot is no longer guaranteed for the Cavalry.
A series win against arch rival Sydney could lift the Cavalry from its funk.
''Canberra have always been the underdogs from my point of view, with a team made up of a bunch of guys from all over the place,'' Collins said.
''I don't think that's too big an issue, I don't think that pressure of defending from the top in anything of a concern.
''No one was looking ahead [to this week's Sydney series], at the end of the day Brisbane just player better baseball.
''They pitched very well, we have a great offence and they were able to keep us quiet.''
The Cavalry offence had been in supreme touch before scoring just 12 runs in five matches against Brisbane.
It doesn't get any easier against an outstanding, in-form Blue Sox bullpen led by Chris Oxspring, Craig Anderson, Matt Williams and the former Cavalry player Tim Atherton.
Canberra-Sydney matches this season have mainly been low-scoring affairs, and Collins is tipping similar this week.
''I'd expect it to be like that, fairly low-scoring with both teams fighting for every hit and opportunity,'' Collins said.
''Our pitchers have done a great job all year keeping the score close and giving us a chance, we'll look to continue that performance.''
The Cavalry lead the head-to-head match-up against Sydney by a win, meaning they need only win two of four games to stay ahead of the Blue Sox should both teams have identical records at season's end.
Game one: Canberra Cavalry v Sydney Blue Sox at Narrabundah Ball Park, 7pm.
Others series games: Friday and Saturday at 7pm, Sunday at 1pm.