South Oakland lost 6-1 to the South Hills Devils last night in Carrick. Devils’ starter Dan Heinecke (W, 1-1) threw a complete game for the win. Brandon Blackstone, went six innings for the Duck in the loss. The Devils took advantage of a three-run fourth and a two-run fifth, and they got great starting pitching.
We had good enough pitching to win, but had some guys playing out of position, and it hurt us. We didn’t take advantage of a few situations when we had men on base. We get another shot at it on Wednesday.
Tom Pulice drove in our run in the first inning. Dillon Williams had two doubles.
South Oakland plays next against the Devils. Wed 9pm at Springview Field.
The Ducks travel to Carrick tonight to take on the defending champion Devils in a battle for sole possession of second place. This should be a close game. The winner will have the inside track on a first round bye.
We swept South Hills in the regular season last year, but they won the championship. The Devils are the favorite to win it again this year. No team has won back to back titles since we split into three divisions. We also haven’t voted a team up since Shaler sandbagged their way to a title four years ago. Bandidos, Oilers, and Devils have all remained in AA to defend their titles.
The Devils improved this off-season, adding some guys from the Express and their old home field. I’ve always liked Volunteers because there’s not as much ground to cover in center. They also drag it before every game. It’s a nice change of pace. RIP Carrick Express.
This is a big regular-season game for both teams. We start a home and home tonight, with the second game scheduled for Wednesday at the pond. After a slow start, the Ducks have put together a nice winning streak. Tonight we will go for four in a row.
The South Oakland Ducks of the Northside won their third straight game Sunday in Spring Hill. Billy Welsh (W, 1-0) threw 7 innings for his first win as a Duck, and James Fago struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth for his first save of the season.
The Ducks held a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, then Bakery Square tied the game on an Eric Friend, two-out, two-run double to left. John Friend led off the inning with a bunt single.
Matt Mullen led off the eighth with a single and stole second. Tom Pulice drove in what proved to be the game-winning run with a double to the right-center gap. Gwin and Brandt also drove in insurance runs in the inning.
Big missed opportunity by the Bandidos to not rebrand as the Toros, and go with these unis.
The win brings the Ducks record to 3-3. The Bandidos fall to 2-2.
South Oakland plays next against the Devils, Monday night, 8pm at Volunteers Field in Carrick.
The Ducks (3-2) overcame an early 6-0 deficit and stormed back to beat the Bandidos 14-8 in Spring Hill Wednesday night. Randy Patton (W, 1-0) scattered 8 hits over six innings for the victory, and Brandon Blackstone pitched a scoreless seventh. Yohei Sekiya went 2-3 with 4 RBI for the Ducks. The Bandidos fell to 2-1 on the season.
This was a wild one. It was 6-0 Bandidos heading into the bottom of the second. Then their starter walked a bunch of people, and we scored 4 runs. They added another run in the top of the third, and we answered with a six-run inning. It was 10-7 after 4.
Patton settled down and had a couple quick innings.
Then They brought in another guy, and we scored two in the fifth, and two in the sixth.
Eric Friend pitched the sixth for Bakery Square. He made a nice catch earlier in the game in center field.
Our 4-7 hitters this game (Lombardi, Rayl, Gwin, Fago) have over 50 years of NABA experience between us. We all reached base at least twice. Veteran at-bats.
Gutsy performance by Patton on a night he got hit around a little. It looked like this one might get away from us, but we battled, and he gave us a chance to come back.
Missed opportunity by the Bandidos to not get 80s Padres style uniforms when they got new ones.
The Ducks and Bandidos play again Sunday, 9:30am, at Spring View Field
South Oakland looks to start a winning streak tonight against the resurgent Bandidos. After a thrilling extra inning win against South Side last weekend the Ducks are back in the win column and feeling confident. Tom Pulice earned his first win as Ducks manager. He’s the fifth coach to win a game for South Oakland.
Ducks managers by year:
Based on this pattern, I’ll be back in 2022. The Billy Martin of the Pittsburgh NABA.
Last year the Ducks swept the Bandidos. In 2019, Bakery Square had a statistical anomaly of a season, winning like five games and suffering a bizarre defeat to a short handed Eagles team in the playoffs. But it looks like the odds may have swung back in their favor this season as the Bandidos are off to the best start in team history.
These teams have been rivals since the days of Zack King and the Mon Valley Dirty Birds, when the aforementioned King tried to fight our whole team for some reason. 2014 was a great year. That season, the Dirty Birds played at West Field before the renovation.
After a two year hiatus, the South Oakland Ducks of the North Side are returning to the North Side. We will play our home games at Spring View Field.
West Field was nice, I guess, but the borough was impossible to deal with, and the seeds/maintenance situation was ridiculous. The big dugouts were a nice change of pace, but the lights were impossible there. We tried to get a couple early season dates there this year, and after they charged me for them, they said they were cancelling the whole summer, and turned around and gave a DNL team a permit. I’m still waiting on my refund.
In honor of the Undertaker’s retirement, I’m writing a bonus post about the upcoming all-decade NABA team that Cranberry is working on. Every team is nominating five players and then there is supposedly going to be voting on the best player from each team.
I nominated five Ducks:
TJ Morgan, James Fago, Tony Casale, DJ Dover, and Mark Lombardi.
Tom Pulice missed the cut by one year of eligibility, which for these purposes is set at 4 years of non-consecutive service. Randy’s omission deserves discussion, too, as he’s won a lot of games for us in two different stints in South Oakland.
Lombardi, Fago, and Dover are all probably on multiple teams top 5 of the decade. Tony and DJ are the only two to play their whole careers as Ducks.
I guess I could figure out an all 2010s team for the Ducks at some point. Maybe I’ll create a Google sheet and people can vote. Who did I forget? Strom, Sorosky, Graff, Big Mike, Ciccone? We’ve had a lot of good position players over the years. This post would’ve gotten five pages of discussion in 2010. Leave some comments.
The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (1-3) outlasted the South Side Eagles, winning 7-4 in extra innings Sunday afternoon in Findlay. Matt Mullen (W, 1-1) rebounded from a suboptimal performance last weekend in Cranberry with three scoreless innings in relief of starter Billy Welsh.
Welsh cruised through five, and the Ducks led 4-1, but a couple errors paved the way for an Eagles comeback. South Side tied the game at 4 after a three-run sixth.
The Eagles starter battled through eight innings, and then they brought in the side arm guy in the top of the ninth. Tom Pulice drove in the game winning run with a two out, two-run double down the line. Kenny Rayl added an insurance run with another RBI double.
Mullen retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth.
The win moves the Ducks out of sole possession of last place.
This would have been a horrible loss to blow another lead and fall to 0-4. The Eagles battled to tie it up, but Mullen shut the door, and we finally had some hard hit balls drop for us. Hopefully we can string a few wins together.
This was a big win with a short bench and several guys playing out of position.
Mark Lombardi made three great plays at third, including a 5-3 double play in the 8th, and a diving stop in the top of the ninth.
UPDATE: South Oakland plays next vs. the undefeated, new look Bandidos. Wednesday, 9pm at Springview Field
South Oakland has lost three games to start the 2020 season. The Eagles beat the Ducks in what was a great game through five innings last Wednesday before the wheels fell off in the top of the sixth.
We typically start slow, but this season the margin for error is smaller, and we can’t spend too much time figuring it out. We need to get on a roll, but we have to get the first one. Father’s Day is a good day to start a winning streak.
The Ducks dropped to 0-3 after a 5-0 loss to the South Side Eagles last night in Moon. This was a scoreless game through five. The Ducks stranded two men on with nobody out in the bottom of the fifth, and the Eagles scored five unearned runs in the top of the sixth. Both pitchers threw well. We couldn’t get anything to fall.
The Ducks play next on Sunday against the Eagles, 3pm, at Findlay Park.
After a weekend sweep at the hands of Cranberry, South Oakland opens its home schedule tonight at Moon Park against the equally winless Eagles. The Eagles lost to the defending champion Devils twice last weekend.
South Side took two of three regular season games from the Ducks last season, and are always a tough opponent regardless of record. Both teams figure to be patching together a rotation early in the season after double headers to start the season. Getting ten-runned by the Devils on may help South Side tonight as they saved some wear on their bullpen.
Speaking of bullpens, Ducks pitchers walked 17 batters and hit six more over their first two games. Twenty-three (23) free bases over fourteen innings is significant. We will have to improve on those numbers going forward. No time like the present to get back to throwing strikes.