Game 20: The Ducks Abide. Ducks 8, Rakers 4

pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball
Talking Heads

South Oakland brought the rakes, and the Rakers brought a duck; a stuffed duck with a make-shift noose. The poor bird spent the afternoon suspended on the back stop staring at the Ducks’ dugout. After a brief rain delay, perhaps inspired by their fallen comrade, the Ducks soared over soggy Pie Traynor Field. Everyone contributed, the whole flock. Now the Ducks find themselves in a three way tie for the final playoff spot in the Monongahela Division.

***
Mark Guthrie (3-1) struck out five and scattered eleven hits over seven innings, as the South Oakland Ducks evened their record at 9-9-2, after today’s victory over the Rakers. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, South Oakland came out raking. Eric Lee started the game with a lead off single, Gregg Campbell walked and both runners advanced on a double steal. Catcher, Ben Gwin singled in both runners to put the Ducks ahead 2-1. Then…
Kirk Gibson doubled to right, and Gwin scored from first, 3-1 Ducks after one.

It appeared as though the Rakers would figure out Guthrie. The Rakers scored two runs in the second, but were hitting the ball hard, Ben Sorosky hit a line drive right at SS, Andrew McCray, Nick Homa threw out a runner at home after a single to left, and Jeremy Barchie flew out deep to left. Their outs all came on hard hit balls.

The Ducks defense was spectacular, they picked up Guthrie in the middle innings, and stole several runs from the Rakers.

Were it not for two “oh-my-god” catches: the fist by right fielder Coby Kolaja, on a flair to right, the second by Gregg Campbell on a ball which seemed destined to be a triple, the Ducks may have found themselves playing catch-up.

Inspired by the defense behind him, Guthrie settled down, and the Rakers bats became as lifeless as the stuffed Duck hanging from the back stop.

After the second inning this was some of the best baseball, we’ve seen this season. Both teams battling for their playoff lives, the plays were made, the pitchers were phenomenal, and the intensity was as thick as the mud behind home plate.

Neither team could take controll of the game, the score was tied 3-3 going into the bottom of the sixth, then it was time.

McCray continued his domination of the Rakers right fielder, a lead off double put the winning run in scoring position with no outs. Nick Homa laid down a perfect sac bunt, and the muck tripped the Rakers fielder, Homa was safe at first. Eric Tans pinch hit for Ken Griffey Kolaja Jr, and reached on an error. Bases loaded, no outs.

KT Murphy; hitless the last two games, benched against the Eagles, stepped to the plate 0 for 2 on the day with a ground out to the pitcher and a strikeout in his previous two at bats. Redemption.

Barchie left one up, and Murphy made him pay, an RBI single and it was 4-3 Ducks.

Garret Moore drove in another run with a fielder’s choice to the right side. with runners on second and third with one out, Adam Smith was intentionally walked to set up the double play.
“Rick” James Spagnola took it personally. In a profanity laced at-bat, Spagnola singled in another run with a shot up the middle, just past a diving Brandon Eberle.

The bases were still loaded for Eric Lee who stomped the life out of the Rakers with his third hit of the day.

Lee doubled to left-center, and the Ducks would take an 8-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
After a lead off single, Guthrie got a double play ball, and the Ducks survived three consecutive two-out singles by the Rakers to hold on for the 8-4 victory; the biggest win in a long time for the storied South Oakland franchise.

BULLET POINTS

Thank you to everyone who came out to watch the game.

  • Eric Lee had a heroic game, 3-4 2B, 2RBI…It is possible he also stole two bases and threw out two runners at the plate.
  • KT had a clutch RBI single late in the Black Sox game, and did it again today.
  • I think I had the plate blocked on the first play at home, but that last guy was absolutely out at home.
  • If your going to bring a duck noose to our game, bring an American Flag to the Rebels game, if they show up it will be hilarious. Thanks for your perpetuation of the Confederacy nickname as well.
  • Speaking of the Rebels, I told John Tremmel I’d mention that he earned a spot on the Braves farm team. The only catch I’ve seen that was almost as sick as the one Campell made, was made by Tremmel, a basic Jim Edmonds over the shoulder type grab. Campbell’s was tougher, by a hair, and it was definitely in a more important game.
  • We won this one without our starting SS, our all-star catcher and Wojoton.
  • Is Wojoton headed to the DH role, given the emergence of Ken Griffey Kolaja Jr. in right?
  • How about three consecutive RBI by the 8, 9, 10 hitters: Murphy, Moore, Spagnola.
  • A Smith is hitting around .400 over the last couple games, the Ducks probably have the best Smith, Smith combination with Jesse and Adam.
  • Homa had a solid gam at third, and went 1-2 with a run scored.
  • Guthrie, the Ducks “other ” all-star pitcher, leads the team in ERA and is tied for first in wins. I think with two games left it’s about time we gave him the “C” on his jersey, we can use….Duck tape. WOOOOOOOOOOO

The Rakers are solid citizens, I wish I could root for them, but we’ve got a Wild Card race on our hands.

Batting Practice at 6pm at the pitt field tomorrow.

To clarify an earlier error, Bulldog Brian Strom can in fact pitch. I just feel he’s a better outfielder than a pitcher, that’s my assessment. He struck me out last year, never again.


Peaking at the right time.

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