Musketeers hope being at home restores confidence
BASEBALL: A welcome return home this weekend has the Ipswich Musketeers primed for a return to winning ways.
The Musketeers season started with four straight wins.
But the four straight losses that have followed leaves the team in need of a confidence boost.
Playing second from bottom Redlands tonight and on Sunday provides the perfect opportunity for the Musketeers to move back into the black.
They will have to do it without first base Gregg Ellis, who will miss two rounds of matches due to work commitments.
It is the final weekend of availability for Josh Roberts and Andrew Campbell, before the Australian Baseball League begins.
"It's always pretty tight between us and Redlands," Ellis said. "But on our day we should beat them nine times out of 10 and we always play better at home."
Ellis admits that after playing in the lower division of the Pacific League last year, then facing a gentle reintroduction to the Major League against Wests and Carina, the Musketeers found Windsor and Surfers Paradise a step beyond them.
"It was the first good pitching we'd seen in quite a while," Ellis said.
"In the Sunday game we were a bit off our game."
The Musketeers were 6-0 down after the first innings against Surfers last Sunday.
That came after a grand slam home run that might have otherwise been caught out was helped over the fence by a the gale blowing.
Ellis has no doubt the Musketeers will adapt and get better against quality pitchers as the season progresses as well.
"We've done it better but it's been a while," he said.
"We can face and hit them."
The Musketeers were hindered last week by the late withdrawal of new pitcher Dean Gillespie.
Gillespie was set to make his Major League debut for his new club but pulled out with a back injury.
"Hopefully he shows up," Ellis said. "The young blokes, like Jake (Suthers) are doing well."