Friday’s game cancelled. Showdown with South Side looms


No game this Friday.

I think both Ducks and Devils management are blaming the shaky light situation for the postponement while both teams may have also been short guys due to the holiday weekend.

Our next game is Wednsday, 9PM at Springview against the South Side Eagles.

All hands on deck for this one.


Comeback Kids. Ducks 8, Grizzlies 6; Ducks 8, Grizzlies 8

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks win, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (11-5-2) came back from a six run deficit, scoring seven runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to beat the Vancouver Grizzlies last night in Spring Hill.

The Grizzlies starting pitcher was solid, and kept the Ducks off balance while Vancouver staked a 6-1 lead after five.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth, Dimas Maldonado hit a 2-run double, igniting the offense. Maldonado’s double was followed by four straight singles by Gwin, Dover, Lombardi and Pulice.

Here’s a recap of the game via NBA Hang Time for Sega.

Ducks starting pitcher, Mike Annerino gave South Oakland a strong start, allowing one earned run through four, and reliever Randy Patton had some bad luck on a tough hop on a grounder to third with two men on that lead to four runs in the fifth, but kept the Ducks in it.

Jon More recorded the save.

In the suspended game, some guy hit a cheap home run to tie the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. South Oakland’s left and center fielder were camped under the ball and watched it land just on the other side of the fence.

After the Ducks left a runner on third in the top of the seventh, Ben Sorosky entered the game and kept the Grizzlies off the board to secure the tie.

Play of the night was Ducks left-fielder Lonnie Petril throwing out the potential winning run at home to end the game. Going back to the rain-delayed first five innings of the game, the Ducks came back from an 8-5 deficit to tie the game.

Watch out for the Grizzlies in the playoffs they are better than their record might indicate. I bet Big Country is going to get in to five games before the post season to crush teams in the low post.

South Oakland is now in third place, half a game behind the Bandidos, and one game behind the Eagles, with one game in hand on Bakery Square and two big games vs. South Side left on the schedule.

We have a tentatively scheduled game vs. the Devils this Friday, 8:30 at Springview, but management is trying to reschedule the game.



Gameday 17: Ducks vs Bauerstown

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (10-5-1)


Bauerstown Grizzlies (7-7-1)


Springview Field

A win for the Ducks tonight would pull the team back within a half game of the Eagles (12-4-1) and the Bandidos (13-6). The Grizzlies are trying to stop a three game losing streak and get back over .500.

League-wide, this season has been characterized by a bunch of ties and blackouts. It reminds me of my early twenties, most which I also spent playing for the Ducks. Seven of eleven teams in Double A have a tie, and the new guy at the city can’t keep the lights on. The stretch run this season is going to be interesting.

We’ve already had a tie, a rain-shortened game, a suspended game, and a game in which the lights went out in the bottom of the first inning.

South Oakland’s previous game against Bauerstown was called early due to a thunderstorm with the Ducks leading 8-7 heading into the bottom of the sixth. That game will be made up after the regularly scheduled seven inning game is played, if time permits, and the lights stay on.

The Ducks are coming off a big win against the Express, and should field a more complete lineup than the last meeting between the two teams.

Bad News for the Grizzlies

Derailed. Ducks 9, Express 1

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks win, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Brian Strom went 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI, and Randy Patton mowed through five innings to lead the South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (10-5-1) past the Express (7-8) last night in Carrick.

After the Ducks went down in order to start the first, the Express took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the second, Brian Strom hit a bases loaded double followed by Jon Moore’s RBI ground out to take a 3-1 lead.

The Ducks added a run in the fourth when Chuck Zuzak beat out a double play ball for an RBI fielder’s choice.

In the fifth, the Ducks broke it open. Casale singled and scored on Gwin’s double to right. Lombardi walked, Morgan beat out an infield single, before Pulice hit a scorcher that some guy threw away, plating two more runs.

7-1 Ducks after five.

South Oakland added a run in the sixth off Sorosky’s RBI fielder’s choice, and another run in the seventh when Lombardi doubled home Dover.

Then their pitcher appeared to throw at Lonnie for some reason. If this was 2009, it probably would have resulted in a shit show.

Chuck Zuzak pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh innings, striking out 3 batters.

We haven’t lost two in a row this season

Big team win after dropping last week’s game vs. last place Cranberry. Everyone contributed. We beat a great pitcher.

Bloomfield residents Strom, Gwin and Moore went a combined 7-for-10 with two doubles and four RBI

Other stats of note:

Lombardi: 3-3, BB, 2B, RBI, 3R

Mike Brandt: 0-0, HBP

Lonnie Petril: 0-1, HBP

The Ducks next game is Wednesday, at Spring Hill vs. Bauerstown. Time tbd, in case we finish the suspended game first.


Gameday 17: Ducks at Express

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-5-1)


Carrick Express (7-7)


Volunteer Field

South Oakland of the North Side looks to rebound after a tough loss to Cranberry tonight in Carrick.

We always play like the walking dead against that team at least once a year.

Here’s a quick look at the standings, followed by some expert analysis that someone will undoubtedly take offense to and get me beaned.

Someone once told me good writing contains fractals, the way the narrative breaks apart naturally into threads and those threads move in an arc towards the conclusion.

Will 2 Dirty 2 Birds: Return of the Bandidos have such an arc, continuing to win titles before being forced to move up and break apart and buy new unis every other year? Will the teams with games in hand make them count? Will this blog ever have good writing, aside from Donnie’s guest posts?

Quick info  on the Bandidos motorcycle gang linked below. Interesting for the other team that plays in Bakery Square to be named after these guys.

Big missed opportunity for Eagles Sunday, day game unis

The Eagles stormed out of the gate before hitting a rough 0-4-1 stretch and returned to the pack a little. They have won two straight, I think. They’re still in first and still probably the team to beat. They hit the shit out of the ball.

The Oilers dropped one to Cranberry as well last week, and have likely been struggling to find consistent pitching aside from that lefty. This is all a guess. Perhaps we jumped the gin on their ringers coming in and shutting it down, but I’m sure that have something up their collective sleeve for the stretch run.

Bauerstown is overall pretty solid. We are hopefully going to finish our suspended game before starting our second game against them on Wednesday. That will be a big night for us if we can hold on to the win in the game in which we are up 1 in the bottom of the sixth, and potentially sweep that night. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

West View scuffling along at .500 is probably the biggest surprise of the season. Maybe teams aren’t as intimidated by the atmosphere at John Herb anymore. Who knows. It will be interesting to see if they get a bunch of rain outs rescheduled in time, and how that will effect the standings.

The Cranberry, D2, Wexford, Devils grouping is still good enough to sneak a game here and there form a top team. Should be an exciting stretch run.

The Express are still the Darkhorse to make a deep run this season. With the emotions of this likely being their last year under current management and their future in doubt they have extra motivation. Plus the pitching depth.

But they still have a long way to climb up the standings. Tonight, we can pull within a game of the Eagles, and keep pace the Bakery Square. We always give Carrick a good game. Four of the last five have been decided by one run. We need to hit tonight.

Smoking man seems fitting for this game.

Bad News for the Express


Shot Down in a Blaze of Glory. Ducks 2, Cranberry 7


South Oakland outhit Cranberry 12-4, but left a bunch of guys on base and walked some guys. We made a couple errors. Not a great game for us. Cranberry’s pitcher kept us off balance, and didn’t allow a run until 2 out in the seventh when DJ Dover hit a 2-run home run to break the shutout.

We win and lose as a team, but as manager I have to do a better job in games like this when we have a chance to move in to first and we’re playing the last place team. Cranberry earned this one.

Of note, TJ Morgan, Tony Casale and DJ Dover had great nights at the plate.

Dover is now the all time Ducks single season HR leader (3). I’ll double check the stats to see who he’s tied with. He is having a monster season. Our relief pitching was also pretty solid.


Next game monday at Carrick at 8pm. We need to come out with some urgency in this one.



Gameday 16: Ducks vs. Cranberry

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-4-1)


Cranberry Crusaders (3-10)


Springview Field

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side can move into a tie for first with a win tonight over the Newly Minted Cranberry Crusaders.

Cranberry, at one point a couple years ago, went by the Young Guns. I think I remember this and probably photoshopped some kind of intense Emilio Estevez/Charlie Sheen wild west thing.

Image result for young guns movie images

Like this but with germani photoshopped in there, throwing that 50mph curve ball no one can hit.

Anyway, I’m not surprised that name didn’t stick. There is really only room for one team with a nickname that has connotations to an Emilio Estevez film. Which, come to think of it, D2 is going to have to re-brand. Like the Dirty Bandido Lion Birds or whatever.

Best Emilio Estevev film?

Men at Work.

Bad News for the Crusaders

Midseason Musings


Daylight dims and dusk draws in.  Indistinguishable chatter dissipates from the dugout.  A scooter is thrown onto the field.  These are the sights and sounds of Ducks baseball in the N.A.B.A.

Every season is special in its own right and the 2017 season is no different, except of course that it is.  There is both quantifiable and unquantifiable differentiation from years past.  We’ve added an Dominican Puerto Rican Hispanic player which has doubled the number of minority Ducks to a total of two (2) players.  This essentially has catapulted us to the top of the league in player diversity.*


Beyond this groundbreaking cultural advancement, there are other somewhat immeasurable moments that consume me.  Just a few weeks ago, I marveled as one of our players pulled a sex toy (presumably) from his baseball bag and applied it in a back-and-forth fashion on his hamstring.  He had injured himself the previous game and apparently stopped at the A-Mart on McKnight Road in-between.  He proceeded to share this toy with several other Ducks who followed his lead by massaging and loosening their hamstrings.  Not one of them found this to be strange.

Some Ducks are aware that I’ve been (lazily) chronicling the season through photos.  I’ve captured a few solid shots.  I have several pics of Joe who happens to be extremely photogenic.  He’s also eating something or is asleep in each photo.  I’m not kidding.  Here’s one of him eating at Wexford.

Joe Eats Wexford

And here’s another one of him asleep on the bench alongside Future Duck HOFer TJ Morgan.

Joe Sleeps

#55 is in the best shape of his life and has never looked faster on the bases.** Sorosky’s mind is always on the mound, even when he isn’t actually on the mound.

Sorosky Contemplates

Dimas has been a nice addition.  He likes contact and he may be the fastest kid in the league.  Here’s a photo of him exiting the bases after being thrown out for the 37th time this season.  He’s even a blur when jogging off the field.


I’m told Lombardi takes 100 soft-toss swings every day.  I’m fairly certain I haven’t swung 100 times in the past two seasons.  It’s one of the reasons he hits the ball 300+ feet on a rope and I hit seeing-eye singles.  When we played Carrick, several players post-game in the handshake line congratulated me on my singles.  Like, “hey man, nice singles!”  And they were sincere about it, which made me feel equally appreciative and diminutive.  Anyways here’s a photo of Lombardi at Springview moments before he raked a ball onto Route 28.***


After a slow start, Coach has been on fire in the box, out in the field and in the dugout.  One game I was playing left field alongside him in center and heard him motherf*ck a player from another team like 7 times but I couldn’t discern anything else he was saying nor could I tell if he was serious or joking.  It was awesome.  Here he is managing as Big Mike’s giant arms attempt to rip off his own head.

Coach Ben.JPG

Jon Moore has done a masterful job of sporting this season.  Pulice has been a solid addition and I cannot wait to get drunk with him.  We have two (2) sets of brothers on the squad (f*ck you Roberto and Sandy Alomar!): the Italian Casale boys, anchored by 2016 MVP Tony and the Hunky (presumably) Zuzak crew who are led by cooler-than-a-polar-bear’s-toenails Chuck.  DJ flies in from Erie, at least I’m pretty sure he does, which clearly has given him time to get his mind straight as he’s crushing the ball this season.  Chvarak is older than me which makes me happy and he can hit top pitching while sitting in his wheelchair.  I don’t believe Strom has broken a bat or his face yet this year which is an accomplishment.  He’s the quintessential Duck IMO.  Nichols, Doc, Heisler, Patton and some Annerino kid who attends the University of Wisconsin and is young enough to be my kid keep us in games when our bats go silent.  Ultimately, I need more Brandt and Swetz: plain and simple.  Honestly – I love this team.

Oh, and there’s been a buttload of rain in June.  That’s my reflection on the season to-date.  I hope to post another soon.****  Besides, I made it through this entire post without screwing up once.  So until then, as us Ducks say: Quick.

*Prolly not true.

**Another lie.

***Bit of a stretch, but not entirely false as we could not confirm nor deny where that ball landed.


Stall Tactics. Ducks 8, Bauerstown 7 (suspended, rain)

2017 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland tied the game on a John Zuzak single in the top of the sixth, then took an 8-7 lead on a bases loaded walk by Patton before the game was suspended due to rain, Sunday in Bauerstown.

The Ducks lead 4-1 going into the bottom of the third, then a couple errors, hit batsmen and singles by Bauerstown lead to five Grizzlies runs, and a 6-4 lead.

The teams traded runs in the fourth.

After leaving the bases loaded in the fifth, South Oakland scored three runs in the top of the sixth, and completed the half inning before the rain started, despite a questionable pitching change with two outs and the bases loaded, storm clouds on the horizon.

Mike Brandt took an intentional strike out in an attempt to finish the inning.

I dont’ know if it was even necessary at that point. I know if there’s a lead change in the half inning, the game is suspended. I’m not sure if it mattered that we finished our half. Regardless, selfless at bat by Brandt to swing at three in the dirt in order to move things along.

I assume we will complete the game before we start the next one, but it might just go unfinished.

Great effort by several Ducks who don’t normally start.

We came out flat but rallied late. Good effort overall.

It’s been a weird season with a rain-shortened opening day loss, a tie, and a suspended game already.

Some stats:

Morgan, 1-1, HBP, BB, 3RBI

J. Zuzak: 1-2, 2BB, RBI

Chavarek: 2-3, BB

Dover: 4-4, 2B, RBI, 2R

Police: 1-1 2B, 3BB, 2R

Graff: 0-0, 2BB, 2R

South Oakland’s next game is this Wednesday 9PM at Springview Field, vs. Cranberry