Ducks vs. Rebels: 9pm, Spring View Field

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If the Ducks are going to make a run at the post-season it has to start tonight.

It has been a while since we’ve had a home game, it is good to be back in the friendly confines of Spring View. Hopefully there was just enough rain the past few days to soften the field.

If the rubber is 60.5 feet from home, then second base is roughly 66.8 feet directly behind the rubber.

More from Ken Burns.

We haven’t seen this guy in a while, we’re about due…

Bad News for the Rebels

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Ducks mid-season report

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South Oakland(5-8-1) has one game before the July 2nd, All-Star break.( Monday 9pm against the Rebels). Due to a recent slump in which the Ducks have lost for of five, by an average of two runs per game, the team finds itself on the cusp of elimination. With ten games remaining (eight against Monongahela Division teams), South Oakland still has a chance to go on a run and sneak into the post-season.

The Ducks’ next two games are against the Rebels and Oilers respectively, the Ducks lost 5-4 to the Rebels, and 3-2 to the Oilers in the team’s previous match-ups.

The Black Sox (10-3) and the OwlZZ (10-2) are running away with the Monongahela Division.
The battle for third place and the final playoff spot is still wide open, the Rakers and the Eagles are tied for third with the Ducks 1.5 games out of the playoffs.

To clinch a playoff spot, the Ducks will have to overtake the Rakers (8-8) and the Eagles, (6-6), with two games remaining against the Rakers, and one more game against the Eagles, the Ducks have a chance to accomplish this feat. South Oakland is 1-1 against the Eagles, and 0-1 against the Rakers this season.
It has been a frustrating first half. The Ducks have yet to put their best nine players on the field at the same time. On the bright side, the players who have shown up and played have improved significantly, this could leave the Ducks with a solid bench when the starters return to action.

My official endorsement for Nick Homa, Mark Guthrie and Chris Wojoton to be named as reserves for the All-Star Game.

Ducks Leaders (not including stats from the Bulldogs’ game)

Batting
Batting Avg.: Ben Gwin .407, Jesse Smith .385 (three tied at .333)
HR: J. Smith, Ryan Novak, Chris Wojoton, (1)
Triples: Guthrie, 1
RBI: Gwin 8, J. Smith, 7, Mark Guthrie 6
Slg. J.Smith .692, Novak .583, Guthrie .571
HBP: Guthrie, Gwin, J.Smith (3)
SB: Gwin 5, Garrett Moore 3

Pitching
Wins: Homa, 2
ERA: Guthrie 1.50, Homa 3.62
SO: Homa 42, A.Smith 13
Saves: Homa, 2

Facial Hair: Coby Kolaja.

The Ducks’ single season strike out record is 56 by Ian Dickman in 2004, Homa has a chance to shatter that mark.

In 2007, the Colorado Rockies won 14 of their last 15 games to win the NL Wild Card

Rain out

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The Ducks next game is against the Confederacy, Monday night at 9pm at Spring View Field.
No word on when tonight’s game will be rescheduled.

Congratulations to Duck, Jesse Smith on being named starting catcher for the 2008 Monongahela Division All Stars.
Smith is hitting .385, and leads the Ducks in HR, OBP and, Slg.
The All Star Game will be held July 2nd at Spring View Field, at 8:30pm

Monongahela Reserves will be named Monday, June 30th.

A Brief History of the Ducks-Black Sox rivalry and "Shoeless" Joe

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I’d like to thank the Bulldogs for reading last week’s posts.

In 2003 the Black Sox were the Stampeders. It was against the Stampeders in the final game of the 2003 regular season, that the Ducks were involved in the only bench-clearing brawl in team history. None of the current Black Sox had anything to do with the lunacy that transpired that day. The Ducks went on to win the Championship from the fifth seed in the six team league.

The Black Sox ended the Ducks chance to repeat in a controversial second round playoff victory, which the Black Sox won two games to one. South Oakland won the first game 7-0, then the next game was rained out and rescheduled and the Ducks had to forfeit game two.

Their was something odd surrounding the game two forfeit, which I don’t remember exactly. We didn’t have enough players show up to the game which but it was rained out anyway, it wasn’t quite right.
That stuff happens, the Black Sox had enough players, and the Ducks didn’t.
So it goes.

Game three was rained out and rescheduled, and we had to play with seven guys, and the Black Sox won. It would have been nice to have the game rescheduled for a time when we could have had enough guys to field a team.

It is because of this playoff series I went out of my way to have an enormous roster, so we would never have to forfeit. But I always felt obligated to play everyone, and there were a few seasons where our depth dropped dramatically after the first 9-12 players, on a 24-man roster, which lead to some painful come-from-ahead, losses.

* * *

Joe Jackson is one of my favorite baseball players, certainly my favorite from the Dead Ball Era. Babe Ruth modeled his swing after Jackson’s. I only know Jackson through statistics.
I have only seen him through grainy documentary footage and still photos. I know his story through cinema, and literature. “Eight Men Out”, the story of the eight White Sox players who conspired to throw the 1919 World Series is my favorite, non-comedic baseball movie, it is based on the book with the same name.

The part of Eight Men Out that gets me, is the final scene where John Cusack’s character is watching what amounts to an NABA game, in which Joe Jackson is playing under a pseudonym,because he loves baseball.

Joe Jackson is why I hate Pete Rose and his constant blabbing about reinstatement.

Rumor has it, Kenny and the Black Sox were contacted by a group of gamblers before the 2005 Pittsburgh NABA championship game, and were paid a hefty sum to throw the series against the underdog Warriors. Matt Slavonic took the money, but hit over .375 in the series and didn’t commit an error in the field.

We lost 15-1 to these guys on opening day. We need a win desperately.

Game thirteen: If 6 was 9… Ducks 5, Bulldogs 6

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The South Oakland Ducks (5-8-1) lost on a 2-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning, by the Bulldogs’ ten-hitter.
It was a pitchers’ duel early.
The Bulldogs went ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the third thanks to three unearned runs.
South Oakland tied the game 3-3 in the top of sixth on Coby Kolaja’s RBI single.
The Bulldogs scored another unearned run on a two out error in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-3 lead.
In the top of the seventh, South Oakland scored two runs after KT Murphy walked to lead-off the inning, stole second, and then moved to third on a ground out by TC Jones.
Nick Homa singled in Murphy, and then Eric Lee sacrificed Homa to second.
Gwin singled to left to give the Ducks a 5-4 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. The Ducks would leave the bases loaded in the seventh.
The Bulldogs came to bat in the bottom of the seventh, down by one, with their seventh hitter leading off the inning.
Then after a single, a fielder’s choice and a walk, the last hitter in the Bulldogs’ order came through with a drive to the left center gap to end the game.

The Ducks played without six starters and fought hard.
Starter Nick Homa (2-3) pitched well enough to win. He threw a five-hit complete game.

The game was originally scheduled to be played at 9pm in Etna, but was moved to Avonworth Field at 6pm, due to a problem with the lights in Etna. The schedule change didn’t occur until Friday, after many Ducks’ players had made plans to leave town, and return in time for what they thought was a 9pm start. It’s not an excuse, just symptomatic of how the chips have fallen this season.

If it wasn’t for bad luck…

  • This was painful to write
  • The Bulldogs played without Rick Beyer, last season’s batting champion.
  • Brian Strom got the win for the Bulldogs. Hats off to them, they made key plays in the infield and kept us off the score board early. Catcher, Joe Graff made a nice pick on a low throw from the short stop to record a run saving 6-2 put-out in the sixth.
  • There were a few kids on the Bulldogs who appeared to go to the plate with the sole intention of earning a base on balls. That’s what I always dreamed of as a kid, getting into the batters’ box and taking four borderline pitches to draw a walk.
  • Nick wasn’t awfully wild, and the defense wasn’t terrible. We just made the errors after the walks.
  • Another wasted outing by a Ducks’ starter, and another game where we didn’t start playing until the last two innings.
  • Their first pitcher was tough to hit, but his stuff wasn’t overwhelming. He held the Ducks hitless for 5 innings.
  • I’m not one to blame the umpires.
  • This was a great baseball game; there is some solace to take in playing good competitive baseball.
  • We have to win seven or eight of our last ten games, and get help to make the playoffs.
  • I should have had that last fly ball, I was out of position, the sky had turned gray, I got a bad jump and took a bad line. It carried. That’s a play I can and should make, especially after lobbying to play outfield.
  • Coby had a clutch game tying RBI and a phenomenal diving catch in right field.
  • Attendance must improve if we are to win enough games to get into the playoffs.

The Ducks are still mathematically alive for playoff contention

Ducks Bulldogs, 6pm Avenworth High School Field

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The Bulldogs are wounded; Last season’s Allegheny Division winners are currently mired in 4th place, owners of an apologetic 4-7 record. They’ve suffered injuries, but still have plenty of good ball players.
The Bulldogs set their rotation to have their ace pitch last Wednesday, against the Rebels and they did us a favor by shutting down the Confederate Army. They also beat the Phatoms 2-1 yesterday. A victory today would solidify their hold on the last playoff spot in the Allegheny.
The Ducks (5-7-1) look to ride the momentum of yet another one-run victory.
When the dust settles after this weekend’s Monongahela Division games, the Ducks could find themselves half a game out of third place, if they win tonight.
We’ll see who shows up today, but at this point in the season we have to expect to be short-handed. Players have been stepping up, Coach Jones has done a great job putting players in position to succeed.

The League President is on the Bulldogs, he chose to play the Ducks twice this season, who can blame him after our inept 2007 campaign.


Around the Monongahela Division:
The Rebels surrendered to the Matadors yesterday.
Unfortunately, the Ducks find ourselves rooting for the Black Sox the sweep the Rakers.
The Eagles(6-6) lost to the OwlZ yesterday.



Bad News for the Bulldogs.

Game twelve: Ducks 6, Hurricanes 5

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Without the help of the entire starting infield and two-thirds of the starting outfield, Ducks’ Manager TC Jones, patched together a brilliant last-second lineup and led South Oakland to victory. The Ducks (5-7-1) got strong performances from their reserves, and held on for a 6-5 victory over the Hurricanes(2-4). Jones (1-1) pitched five innings for his first victory of the season, Nick Homa recorded the save (3).

Gwin singled and scored on Nick Homa’s ground-out to put the Ducks up 1-0 in the first.
The Hurricanes answered with a single and a double in the bottom of the first, tying the game at one. Jones stopped the rally with two strike outs and a ground out to end the first.

In the top of the third, Gwin singled, stole second and scored on Rick Whalen’s RBI double.
Whalen also threw a runner out in the bottom of the third.
Were it not for two Hurricane double plays, the Ducks could have run away with it early.
South Oakland lead 2-1 after three and a half innings.

I left for work

Sources say there was a four run rally in the top of the fifth, to put South Oakland up 6-2.
The Hurricanes chipped away, and trailed 6-5 in the sixth. Then Homa came in and shut them down for his third save of the season.

BULLET POINTS

  • The Ducks are now one game back in the win column of the 6-5 Eagles, who hold the final playoff spot in the Monongahela Division.
  • The fourth place Rakers are 5-5, pending the results of their game today against the Oilers. The Rakers play a double header against the division leading Black Sox (9-1) tomorrow, starting at 12pm at Avonworth High School.
  • Coby had an unbillievable day at the plate.
  • A. Smith had an RBI single
  • KT played a good three innings at second, and the defense as a whole was solid.
  • The Eagles played the second place OwlZ (7-2) today (no score posted), and the Matadors tomorrow.
  • As this weekend progresses, the Monongahela race will tighten one way or another.
  • Here’s to a 6-7 log-jam.
  • Should the Ducks win tomorrow vs. the Bulldogs, it will be South Oakland’s first winning streak of the season.
  • The 6-5 victory was the fifth one-run game of the Ducks’ season, (3-2).
  • The tie vs. the Phantoms will be completed if the outcome will effect playoff seeding.
  • The Hurricanes are good guys, and I wish them the best of luck the rest of the season.

The Ducks play Sunday at 6pm at Avenworth High School Field.
There will be a pre-game post by 2pm tomorrow.

Go Ducks.