Two catchers down after less than two days play was the signal ... all is not well with Hawke's Bay representatives Saints at the national men's interclub softball tournament in Lower Hutt.
"Yes we're struggling," Saints coach Paul Woon said yesterday as he summarised his 13th-seeded team's first two days of play at the 19-team tournament which continues until Sunday at Fraser Park.
His first-strong catcher, Sam Coldicutt, was unable to make the trip south as he was admitted to hospital earlier in the week with a work-related eye injury. Another of his catchers, Te Rangi Chadwick, a pick-up player from the Fast Pitch club, dislocated his knee during their 4-1 loss to 17th seeds Otahuhu yesterday morning.
"This means we're down to our third-strong catcher for the rest of the tournament and he hasn't caught for five years," Woon said referring to Tridan McClutchie.
Saints opened their campaign with an 8-7 win against 10th seeds Miramar on Wednesday.
"We fought well against Miramar as it rained for most of the game. Adam [Woon] pitched that game and displayed good control. Our short game was brilliant and we hit the ball well," coach Woon explained.
Saints' winning run came courtesy of a walk conceded by former Hawke's Bay and Fast Pitch pitcher Jordan Waterhouse.
Saints were also scheduled to play sixth seeds Porirua City United on Wednesday but this match was postponed until 11am today because of wet weather. Against Otahuhu Saints led 1-0 until the sixth inning when Canadian pitcher Kyle Crawford conceded two automatic home runs, one with a runner on base and one other run.
"It was a nightmare of a game for us. We left six runners on base and Otahuhu left three on base," coach Woon said.
Yesterday afternoon Saints were walloped 10-0 by second seeds Auckland Ramblers.
"Ramblers were sharp in all aspects of play ... they will be in the semifinals again," Woon said.
He started the campaign with 10 players including Chadwick but is hoping utility Mac Price, who became a father earlier in the week, will be available from today.
"Porirua will be another tough battle. They're likely to have Regan [Manley] on the mound," he added referring to another former Hawke's Bay pitcher.