Season Awards


Well… It’s taken me a long time to get around to making the time to write our team awards. The way this season ended was tough, and honestly it still doesn’t sit right with me. This year was the closest I have personally ever been to a season championship, and we were literally right there. I still don’t have the right words to explain it.

Looking back on this season I am sure it will be one of my favorites in memory, it went from me wondering if we were going to win five games to literally the final game of the year. We were far from a complete team, after we lost most of our pitching staff in the off season we were left with Randy, and then hope. We had guys that we were going to have to rely on, and they all kept it together until the reinforcements arrived. Zuzak, as it turns out, pretty good on the mound, gritty. Our version of Wild Thing, Cody Quinn, showed us why he was one of our best waiver pickups ever, going out there and being Nasty. Alongside our veterans, we had an ace up our sleeve and we didn’t even know it, Luke Hudic. I will put Luke in at the end of any game, and be confident in the result, you cannot ask for much more than that. After our thin and let’s be honest, rough start, and some hard work by General Manager Ben Gwin, we added two arms, both Former BIG OIL products, Casen Wolinsky, and a couple weeks later Zach Gift. Adding two guys like that, was a jolt this team needed. Now we could balance our innings out instead of having Guys probably set their personal innings records. If we don’t add those two on the pitching side, who knows where we end up, but its not in the championship game I can tell you that.

Pitcher of the year is probably the toughest award that I have to decide on, and really its two fold.

Mr Consistency, Randy Patton is one of the only reasons we had a team after our terrible start.

Then our version of a defibrillator was Casen. I am going to do something that I normally don’t, and put a new award out there.

Pitcher of the Year: Randy Patton

New duck of the year, Pitching: Casen Wolinsky

This team looked a lot different early in the Year, with some departing faces and new additions, I honestly thought we were going to be able to score the amount of runs that we needed to support the pitching staff that we had at the beginning of the year. A new Utility man, Jimmy Murray, who is literally, Fast as Fuck, was an ignition switch for us this year, Jimmy started the year as a utility man and due to injuries found himself in the outfield nearly every games. Jimmy made things happen this year and adding guys like that gives me hope that the Ducks have at least another ten-fifteen years in this league. Our other New Addition Duck is the Swaugdawg himself Alex Swauger. A smooth lefty swing, good at bats, and a plus outfielder. Sign that guy up. Alex could have cemented himself in the lineup with either the bat or the glove, but both just really put an exclamation point on things. Definitely our quiet new comer, but a ball player. With these two dudes joining the ducks, we are in business.

By team group chat coin toss, New comer of the year: Jimmy Murray

With a big win leading off the year against our so called Defectors, I thought that things were looking up, 5 runs against the leagues version of Nasty Nestor, shoot we are in business… We weren’t, at all. We were getting crushed in game two, down nine early, and we rallied back, bringing a sure blowout loss to the team that we would probably consider our rivals, at least in my tenure, The devils, to losing 15-11. Seems bad, but honestly, I figured shoot outs would be the name of the game for us this year. Including that game, we lost the next five in a row, two of those being series losses, 1-6 chasing two series is not somewhere that you want to be. We ripped off four in a row, and lost three of the next four. Then, on a Friday night, General manager Ben Gwin enters the chat again, with a hopeful text to a former Duck, Anthony DeFilippo. I had been playing against Flip in the DNL and watch him tear our pitchers apart. Best strategy for us, get the guy out before Flip, so you could pitch carefully. Adding another true ballplayer, who happened to be tied for 4th on the team in RBIs, was huge for us. Another Duck Full of Grit. To the guys who managed to hold our full lineup under 5 runs, cheers, that’s a feat in and of itself.

Comeback player of the year: Anthony Defilippo

Our Defensive MVP was another Comeback player of the year candidate, because without him holding down the short stop position, we wouldn’t have been in a good spot. Its tough to say a lot about Tony that the blog readers don’t already know, but I am going to try. They say if you are solid up the middle, you will win baseball games, and with Tony at Short, you can chalk it up to solid. Tony always put up good at bats when we needed them or made some bonkers play to stop a rally. One position that I never had to wonder if someone else would do it better was Shortstop. The type of player who will sit there and tell you he is hurting, doesn’t know what he’s going to be able to give, then make a diving play and throw a piss missile across the hill to get the guy out at first.

Offensive player of the year is probably the toughest award on this team. We are STACKED. For me, it comes down to Two of the most tenured Ducks on the team, Ben Gwin and TJ Morgan. Ben is one of the most consistent baseball players I’ve been around, the Duck original who is still trying to get better at the plate year in and year out. TJ is one of the best hitters I have played with, throw him a fastball, dude smokes it, oh, down 0-2, just flip it over the short stops head. Consistency is key, and these two guys put out the most consistent at bats on the team, always helping with any decision that needs made, and always willing to move aside to get guys time. I can’t say enough good things.

I don’t want to pick one, so I won’t, We have Co-offensive MVPs

                Our Team MVP this year is Alex Swauger. Great on defense, great at the plate, literally someone that I could consider for any one of the awards that he would be eligible for. I mentioned Alex earlier, but honestly, the compliments could keep going. Alex is one of the smoothest players on our team, makes things look effortless. Another addition that we would be lost without.

I hate doing awards, not only does it mean the season is really over, I feel like I am snubbing people. This team is a sum of its parts, literally, until we all were showing up regularly, we were dog shit. I have two second baseman that I can easily put in the lineup, the only problem I run into is when they both show up and I have figure out who to put in the lineup, but thankfully, Dimas and Liam are both very positive team first guys, and I don’t know how we fare without them. A few years ago we lost a third baseman that we were worried about replacing, then Kenny Shows up, locks down third, and hits the ball hard as fuck, another Naba legend, and another guy that I am not taking out of the lineup. Mark Lombardi is out in the outfield, making plays, gunning guys out, and when he walks up to the plate, the other team is getting worried. DWill is another sweet lefty swing, just a ballplayer who is another team guy, I am always glad to put him in the lineup because he’s going to come through when we need it. Because of all of the tools we have, our bench is super deep. Sorosky is a true utility guy, we could put him anywhere and he will put in a solid at bat at any time. Brandt is someone I can put in the lineup at any time and know that he’s going to put in the effort and put up a great at bat. Someone I should have utilized more in the playoffs because somehow, some way, Brandt gets a hit when we need a hit. This is one of the best baseball teams I have ever played on. We have tons of good ballplayers and good guys. I can’t wait until the season starts again.

I think I am going to do a team vote from now on, see who the team feels the best player is. I am glad to have a group of guys that continues to put up with me managing, and plugging myself in every day. I love playing with the Ducks, this season was both the most rewarding and most stressful of my managing career so far. I appreciate each and every one of you, we might have a little bit of a different look next year. But lets go get that championship that should have been ours this year. We might be one of the oldest teams in the league, but I truly believe we are the best team in the league.

Quack Quack


Ducks Lose. Season Over


The Ducks lost to the South Side Eagles 11-10 in game three of the AA Pittsburgh NABA Championship series last night in West End. South Oakland led 2-0 until the Eagles tied it in the third. The Eagles jumped out to a 5-2 lead after four. The Ducks scored seven in the sixth to take a 9-5 lead, but the Eagles tied the game in the bottom half of the inning. The Ducks took a 10-9 lead in the top of the seventh, but could not hold the lead. Randy Patton was the tough luck loser on the mound for South Oakland, allowing the last two unearned runs of the game.

The Eagles won their first title in three tries, losing to in the Single A finals in 2010 or 2011 to either the Devils or Warriors, and to the Bandidos in the Noonan Wedding Series of 2017. This was the Ducks second, second-place finish (lost to Elliot 2-1 in 2011).

Congrats to the Eagles. They had a great regular season and they have a talented roster. I’m glad a legacy team won it, if we didn’t. South Side has been around since 2005 and this is their first title. Good job.

My head says this is the second best way to finish a season, but my heart says it’s the worst.

We had no pitching until Bret Miller and the Oilers sent us Casen and Zach who each won two playoff games for us. We pulled Ducks legend Anthony DeFilippo out of retirement at the deadline. We struggled with attendance problems most of the year and limped in to the playoffs with a 10-14 record.

Going into the tournament, we felt like we could play with anyone, but we had a low seed and a tough draw. We were a long shot. Our odds got worse when we wound up in the losers bracket, but we battled. We had an objectively great post-season run that came up short. I’m gutted.

Baseball: Montreal Expos Andre Dawson (10) in acton, making catch vs Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field Chicago, IL 9/11/1981 CREDIT: Heinz Kluetmeier (Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X26016 TK2 R5 F4 )

Neither team wanted to win last night. We gave them a three run lead, they gave it right back, and then we gave it back again. Even after all that, we were up one in the bottom of the seventh. Randy got ground balls from their first two batters. In the last inning, the umpires definitely missed one call, maybe two, but we shouldn’t have been in that position. They might have missed a couple earlier in the game. We should know the umps are going to be bad. They were bad all season.

I really thought we had it when we knocked that hard throwing lefty out of the game. We made too many mistakes at the wrong times. We let it get away from us. It was an ugly game. I’m sad we lost, and that I couldn’t do more to help us win.

Our big missed opportunity was game 1. We didn’t hit well after a week off, and we wasted a great start by Cody Quinn. We could have won at home. The atmosphere at game 2, and throughout the playoffs was awesome.

I’m old.

We went 12 seasons between championship appearances. I will play until I can’t, but I don’t think I have 12 more productive seasons left. None of us thought we’d make it to the finals in mid May, but to get here and then lose in such a heart breaking fashion is a different pain. It hurts because we might not get a better shot. It’s not just the sadness but the vacuum created by the joy that would have been. There’s nothing to fill it.

Still, it was the best playoff run I’ve been a part of since we dropped down a division. It was the most fun I’ve had playing baseball probably since 2003. Even in 2010, it was more relief when we won than joy.

Even now, I’m an optimist. A bunch of old guys and castoffs faced a first-place team led by a group of active college players and we took them to the wire.

I’m proud of the way we played in the playoffs. I’m also proud of the way our guys filled roles and didn’t complain about playing time. Everyone just wanted to win. Everyone was playing hurt and playing hard. Team chemistry is better than it has been in years. We aren’t washed quite yet.

We will be back next year and ready to go for our 20th anniversary season. Maybe we’ll get a jersey patch or something. That would be cool.

Thanks for reading, and sorry about the low quality and frequency of the blog this year.


Ducks Sweep Weekend, Advance to Championship Series


The South Oakland Ducks defeated the Sheraden Jays 4-3 to advance to the NABA Double A Championship Series, Sunday evening in Spring Hill. It was the Ducks third straight road win at Springview Field in three days.


TJ Morgan and Alex Swauger led the Ducks offense with three hits apiece, pacing the team to a 9-6 victory over the Bandidos. Tom Pulice had 3 RBI and Anthony DeFilippo hit a solo home run. Casen Wolinsky (W, 2-0) pitched five strong innings, and Luke Hudic recorded the two-inning save (1).


In the losers bracket semi-final, Zach Gift pitched a complete game (W, 1-0), and the Ducks scored 5 runs in the first inning to chase D2’s starter. Tom Pulice hit a solo home run in the fifth to put the game out of reach. Final score: Ducks 6, D2 2

In the losers bracket final, the Ducks came back from an early 2-0 deficit behind a strong start from Randy Patton and another save from Hudic (2). Patton (W, 1-1) allowed one earned run through six, but the Jays capitalized on two, first-inning Ducks errors. South Oakland scored one in the third, two in the fourth and one in the sixth. The Jays added a run in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder’s choice.

With the Ducks leading 4-3 in the seventh, Hudic picked off a runner for the first out after a questionable catcher’s interference call, struck out the Jays’ leadoff hitter, walked a batter, then struck out MVP candidate Luke Gapinski to end the game.

The Ducks will face the South Side Eagles in a best-of-three series for the title.


The Ducks advanced to the finals for the fourth time in team history. We beat the Piranhas in 2003 and the Black Sox in 2010. We lost to Elliot in 2011.

We are 5-1 in the playoffs with five of six games as the visiting team. Our one home game was at Herschel Park, and we played three consecutive road games at Springview, our home field.

We beat D2 twice by a combined score of 16-4. D2 beat us 10-0 when we last played them in the regular season.

Before this year, we had never played the Bandidos or Cranberry in the playoffs. We played them both this post-season: a 7-0 loss to Jon Hart at Cranberry, and a 9-6 win over the Bandidos on Friday.

After hitting zero home runs in the regular season, we have hit three in six playoff games (Rayl, Defilippo, Pulice).

Entering the tournament as the no. 7 seed, we beat the 8, 6 (twice), 5, and 2 seeds to reach the finals against the no. 1 seed South Side Eagles.

The Eagles earned a double bye in the playoffs, and beat the Bandidos and Sheraden in the winners bracket to advance to the Championship Series.

Today’s win got us back to .500 on the season (15-15).

Date and time of Game 1 of the Championship Series is tbd.

What a run.


Ducks Advance to Quarterfinals


Box Score

South Oakland came from behind to defeat Keystone Oaks 8-7 in Elliot Sunday night behind a strong start from Zach Gift and timely hitting.

Trailing 1-0, South Oakland scored 4 runs in the bottom of the third. With the Ducks clinging to a 5-4 lead in the sixth, Anthony Defillipo hit a two-run double to right-center, driving in what turned out to be much needed insurance runs.

Gift struck out seven over six innings and left in the seventh with a two run lead and a runner on first. Relief pitcher Luke Hudic (W,1-0), loaded the bases with two hit batters then struck out the next two. With two outs and two strikes on the batter, Keystone Oaks tied the game on a two-run error on a shallow fly ball to right. Hudic struck out the next batter.

MVP candidate Alex Swauger led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk and advanced to third on an errant pick-off attempt. After an infield hit by TJ Morgan, Keystone Oaks walked catcher Tom Pulice to load the bases with no outs for Kenny Rayl. Rayl drew a four-pitch walk to end the game.

Some stats:

  • Morgan: 3-for-4, 2 RBI
  • DeFillipo: 1-for-3, 2B, 3RBI
  • Dillon Williams and Tony Casale each went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

This was a big win in an elimination game, after giving up a late lead. Everyone contributed.

South Oakland plays next on Friday night vs. the Bandidos. Time and field tbd, but likely Mellon Park. It will be the first playoff matchup between these two teams.


Ducks Win. South Oakland 10, D2 2

Kenny Powers. Real American. Ducks Legend. American flag cape. Suck it.

Casen Wolinsky (W, 1-0) pitched a complete game and the Ducks advanced to face Cranberry tomorrow in Cranberry.

In the second inning, South Oakland infielder Anthony DeFilippo drove in the game’s first two runs on his first of two doubles; DeFilippo scored later in the inning on Tony Casale’s ground-rule double into the ravine in right field.

The Ducks put the game out of reach in the fifth inning when third baseman Kenny Rayl hit a three-run home run to give South Oakland a commanding 7-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, D2’s three hitter was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. His replacement struck out swinging to end the game.

Kenny Powers on baseball field, pointing at Cranberry.

DeFilippo, Casale, Alex Swauger, Tom Pulice, Ben Gwin, and Jimmy Murray hit doubles for South Oakland. Eleven different Ducks reached base safely.

South Oakland plays today (Saturday) at Graham Park at 5pm.


Kenny Powers with bat

We have some momentum and should feel confident as we move on to the second round.

Bad News Bears team photo.

Bad news for Cranberry

Playoff Gameday 1: Ducks at D2


(7) South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (0-0)


(6) Pittsburgh D2 (0-0)


Herschel Park

The Ducks travel to Elliot tonight to take on D2 in the first round of the 2022 Pittsburgh NABA playoffs. South Oakland lost a heart breaker to D2 in the 2019 playoffs in a game that spanned two locations after the lights went out at Herschel Park. Both teams are confident the lights will stay on for the duration of the game this evening.

On the other side of the asymmetrical bracket, the Piranhas have already forfeited to the Devils. This gives the Devils a big advantage in the second round, and affects the losers bracket game as well. The loser of the 7/6 matchup (I think) will face a team that didn’t have to use an arm against the loser of Devils, Piranhas game to advance.

The last time a team folded before the playoffs, the Ducks were the two-seed and played D2 after they advanced without having to play now-defunct, West View. The Ducks then lost in the aforementioned two-field game, and then were eliminated by eventual finalist Bauerstown.

RIP Wolfpack

This year was frustrating for many reasons. We lost fourteen games, some by a lot, others on the last at-bat. We didn’t have a functional rotation until mid-June, and we struggled with attendance issues the whole summer. I don’t think we’ve had all our starters and pitching in the same game this year. What bodes well for us is we will have all our players for the playoffs. We won’t have any excuses.

We can make up for a mediocre regular season with one more winning streak, but we have to get through tonight first. We will face a tough pitcher and a solid team in D2 that has had a lot of post-season success. On paper, it looks like it should be a low-scoring game. If we can scratch a couple across early and play with a lead, we have a good shot. We will be ready to go tonight.

Bad News for D2

Ducks Win. South Oakland 7, Eagles 6


Box Score

Kenny Rayl hit a one out, walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to give the Ducks a 7-6 win over the first place Eagles last night in Spring Hill. South Oakland starting pitcher Randy Patton (W, 7-3) scattered 11 hits and 5 walks over 7 innings, and held the league’s top scoring offense in check. The win was Patton’s fifth complete game of the season.

The Ducks never trailed. They got off to a 3-0 lead in the first and lead 6-3 after five. The Eagles clawed back into the game, scoring 2 in the sixth and 1 in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Tony Casale and TJ Morgan singled. After a creative double steal attempt, the Ducks had runners on first and third with one out for Rayl who lined a single up the middle for the game winning RBI.

The victory stopped a three-game slide that included a walk-off loss to NABA legend Zach King and the Bandidos on Thursday and a 15-0, three-inning mercy rule loss to the Eagles last Sunday.

The Ducks appear to be locked in to a first round matchup with D2 in the 6/7 game. Despite a frustrating, sub .500 regular season, spirits are high as the playoffs approach.

South Oakland wraps up the regular season on Sunday, 12:30pm at Herschel Park vs the Eagles.


Ducks Win: South Oakland 9, South Hills 8


South Oakland erased an 8-1, 5th inning Devils lead to comeback and win on a John Zuzak walk-off, bases loaded walk last night in Spring Hill. Randy Patton (W, 6-3) pitched a complete game and Tony Casale recorded four hits for the Ducks.

The Devils took an early lead thanks in part to four Ducks errors in the top of the second, and the game appeared to be headed towards another Devils blowout. South Hills lead 6-0 after two innings. The Ducks scored a run in the third to pull within five, but the Devils scored two in the top of the fourth to take a seven-run lead.

South Oakland scored four in the fifth and four in the seventh, highlighted by doubles from Tom Pulice and Kenny Rayl. South Hills committed several errors late in the game. The Ducks loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, chasing Devils starter Brandon Bouchard (L, 5-4). Three straight singles and a walk ended the game.


  • This was the second time this season the Ducks have come from behind in the seventh inning to win.
  • South Oakland avoided being swept by the Devils for the first time in team history.

It seems like we’ve been on the cusp of disaster a few times this year, and we’ve managed to pull ourselves back from the edge. Obviously it’s better to avoid those situations completely, but it’s not that type of season. This was a messy game, but a gutsy comeback after the Devils beat us decisively on Thursday.

South Oakland plays next on Thursday against Keystone Oaks in the dreaded 6:15 pm time slot at Duquesne Field.


Ducks Lose: South Oakland 1, South Hills 9


Brandon Bouchard threw a complete game, and Scott Rush hit a second-inning grand slam to lead the Devils past the Ducks. The Ducks starting pitcher allowed 7 runs in the first two innings on four walks and three HBP scattered around two singles and a grand slam. South Oakland was not able to overcome the early deficit.

Ducks pitcher Cody Quinn threw well relief, holding the Devils to two runs over six innings.

The Ducks next game is Tuesday, July 5th, 8:30 pm at Springview Field vs the Devils.

Gameday 18: Ducks vs Devils


South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (8-9)


South Hills Devils (11-8)

8:30 pm

Springview Field

South Oakland looks to get back to .500 after an up and down month of June. Despite sitting at 8-9, the Ducks are just one game back in the loss column from second place though they have several teams to jump. South Hills has won 7 of 10 and appears to be firing on all cylinders after a big win against Cranberry earlier this week. South Oakland’s scheduled starting pitcher is on vacation, so they will go to the bullpen to try and scrape out a win by committee.

Last week the Ducks completed their season series against D2 and the Jays, winning both two games to one.

The Ducks also beat Keystone Oaks for the second time this season, winning 10-1 on Tuesday. Casen Wolinsky (W, 3-0) struck out ten batters in the complete game victory.

Realignment Watch 2022

The Senators return to single A has been unspectacular as the team sits at 7-9. The Oilers are enjoying a successful second season in AAA with a recent upset of Jefferson Hills highlighting a robust 11-4 record. The Grizzlies are trying to become the first team to win back to back championships in different divisions, and are in the hunt for a division title at 12-5.

Expansion teams Keystone Oaks and CSI seem to be having attendance issues, which is certainly relatable. At 0-15 with an incredible -138 run differential, CSI seems likely to move down next season if they don’t fold.

This has been a frustrating season. We went through a third of the schedule without a number two starter, and we are still dealing with the repercussions of spotty attendance and last minute no shows. But lately we’ve been playing better. When we have all our starters, we can score runs, and we will have to tonight. A win gets us into the holiday weekend on a high note with Randy ready to go on the 5th. If we can keep it close and try to win one late, we have good shot.

Bad News for the Devils