The Canberra Cavalry have spent the past four weeks preparing for this moment - the loss of one of their leading hitters.
Outfielder Jerrick Suiter has returned to the USA to prepare for the season ahead with his new club, the Chicago Cubs, leaving the team with the equal-best batting average in the ABL without their second most consistent bat.
Cavalry manager Keith Ward said they'd known Suiter was leaving since just after the Cubs drafted him and he felt a rotation of hitters throughout the season had them well placed to cover his loss.
His departure comes at a crucial time.
The Cavalry sit second in the north-east conference, but level with the third-placed Brisbane Bandits.
And they're coming up against the conference-leading Auckland Tuatara in a four-game series at Narrabundah Ballpark starting on Thursday.
They take in a team batting average of .295, which is only matched by the Melbourne Aces, although weakened by the loss of Suiter, who averaged .326.
He also hit four home runs and drove in 16.
Ward said the Perkins brothers (Robbie .320 and Kyle .227), Tucker Nathans (.299), David Kandilas (.321), plus the arrival of Robbie Podorsky (.300) had formed a strong nucleus of players who could cover Suiter.
"I think the way the season's unfolded we've basically had a couple of decent bats on the bench and obviously we've rotated those guys around over the course of the season day by day," he said.
"It means one of those guys will come off the bench and into the line-up, which will still make us pretty solid out there.
"We've got some flexibility - both the Perkins boys can play outfield, Tucker Nathans can play outfield, Kandilas, the new boy Podorsky.
"So we've got five or six options that can go out into the outfield or fill a hole in the infield as well. We're pretty lucky in that regard."
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With just eight games remaining, the Cavalry are 4.5 wins behind Tuatara and level with the Bandits.
They're also 1.5 wins ahead of the Sydney Blue Sox.
Canberra need to finish in the conference top two to qualify for the finals and, given the strength of the south-west division they need to finish top to avoid the wildcard game.
The Cavalry also have to be prepared to jump in the car and drive to Blacktown if the smoke returns and becomes too toxic to play in - just as it was when their series against the Adelaide Giants was cancelled.
Their bullpen will be strengthened by the return of Frank Gailey from a tight oblique, while Canberra product Jack Middleton comes into the squad for his first series of the season.
"[The Tuatara are] certainly a team that played well to their strengths - their pitching is very, very good, very deep - and they play a very team-oriented offence with some small ball mixed in there," Ward said.
"They'll bunt, they hit and run, they'll steal, they'll do anything they can do to stay out of double plays and make it easy for them to produce runs.
"A bit of a chaos approach so our guys will have to be on their toes every pitch or every innings to make sure we take our opportunities.
"If we can play some clean defence we'll be pretty hard to beat at home."