TWENTY-THREE innings without a run, that's the elephant in the room for Ipswich Musketeers player-coach Greg Suthers ahead of tonight's match with Beenleigh.
The Musketeers have struggled for much of the early season and face a long stretch without key players Josh Roberts and Andrew Campbell, who are representing the Brisbane Bandits.
Even with them the Muskets have struggled for runs and must find an answer soon if they wish to keep their slim finals hopes alive.
"We had Josh and Andrew there last weekend but on Sunday we went run-less in 14 innings of baseball," Suthers said in the wake of his teams' 1-0 and 7-0 loses to Windsor at Tivoli.
"Also the other week we played nine run-less innings so we're just struggling to score any runs.
"Defensively I thought we did a really good job against Windsor but right now it's a real concern we can't put it together and get back-to-back hits. If you can't do that, you won't be in a winning position very often."
Even more concerning for Suthers is the fact that when his team does score runs, they give up even more as highlighted by a recent 12-11 loss to Redlands.
But right now, the experienced coach's focus is purely on getting his team to lay bat on ball.
"It's about situational hitting and pitch selection," he said.
"We have to make sure we can get on base first and then the batters behind them have to do their job and move them up and score them. That's all we can do."
The Muskets are trying to work their way through their slump while covering the holes left by Roberts and Campbell's absence.
Suthers, however, is treating the loss of his Bandits players as an opportunity rather than a setback.
"Yes, we've lost Josh and Andrew but other teams have lost players too, many of them pitchers," he said.
"It's a tough time but the other side of the coin is it's a great opportunity for some of the younger guys. We've got a couple of guys up from B grade and we're bringing some younger guys up from the under-20s.
"We want to start filtering them into the B grade team and keep on building the capability at the club."
The Musketeers take on Beenleigh tonight at 7.30pm at Beenleigh.