The episode develops the recurring motif of Captain Benjamin Sisko's love of baseball, which was established in the pilot episode "Emissary". Sisko accepts a challenge from a physically superior Vulcan crew to a game, and forms a team from his regular staff members in short order.
A Vulcan starship docks at Deep Space Nine. Sisko recognises its captain, Solok, as a former classmate and longtime rival. Solok believes that his all-Vulcan crew are superior in every respect, and challenges Sisko to a baseball game in the holosuite. Sisko accepts, even though this gives him only two weeks to form a team into shape, and his son Jake is the only other potential member who has played the game before.
Sisko's team trains hard and suffers injuries. Impatiently, he dismisses Rom from the team, and the squad nearly quit in protest. Sisko admits to Kasidy Yates that he is taking Solok's challenge so seriously because of a humiliating wrestling defeat at Solok's hands while they were at Starfleet Academy, and Sisko cannot bear to let Solok beat him at his own game.
When the game is played, the Vulcans immediately build up a good score. Sisko gets into an argument with the umpire, security chief Odo, and is thrown out for laying a finger on him.
Near the end and 10-0 down, the Niners are desperate to score a run. Rom's son Nog makes it to third base. In consideration for Rom's feelings, Sisko sends him into the game. Rom accidentally hits a perfect bunt, which brings Nog home, giving the Niners their only run in a 10-1 loss. The team's celebration disturbs Solok, who protests to Odo, but also touches him so Odo throws him out too.
After the game, the DS9 crew relax at Quark's bar, toasting the triumph of team spirit over Vulcan superiority.