South Oakland (4-8) came back from an early 2-1 deficit behind an 8-run fifth inning, and then held off a late rally by the Devils (3-8) to win a wild one in Spring Hill yesterday. Ducks starter Randy Patton (W, 2-1) pitched four strong innings before turning it over to the bullpen. The bullpen had mixed results.
The game was tied 4-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth. The umpires were bad, but just typically bad up to that point. Then it escalated. They missed some calls for the Devils pitcher in the fifth, and the Ducks took advantage when he had to put it down the middle. TJ Morgan hit one off the fence in right that was a foot from going out. We hit a couple doubles and wound up putting eight runs on the board. The plate ump started arguing back with the Devils.
The ump told us we didn’t deserve better umpires. This guy was calling pitches when they were halfway to the plate. I’ve never seen that before. He was out of position all game, and let the game get out of hand.
South Oakland led 12-4 after 5. Our reliever had one out and one on, and the plate ump missed called strike threes on consecutive batters that would have ended the inning. Instead those guys walked. Then there were more bad calls and we walked in two runs. There was a double that cleared the bases, then a 2-run home run. The Devils put up 7 on three hits in the inning.
The Ducks added two in the bottom of the inning to take a three-run lead into the seventh.
Then the ump made more bad calls, tried to issue a warning, and he threatened to leave. He said he should give us $5 back and quit. He told one guy that if he wanted good umpires it would cost $300. One great line was, “Why don’t you get some grandma to stand behind the fence and call balls and strikes.”
It was ridiculous.
The Devils scored two runs in the seventh before Hoffman came in to close the game for South Oakland, stranding the tying run on second.
The Devils new uniforms are pretty nice
If our record was better, Stef Blackstone would be the hands down AA MVP this year. If we finish strong, he should win it.
TJ Morgan is having an incredible season at the plate
If there was ever a loss that could give a team momentum, it was yesterday’s for the Devils. They battled.
It would have been a devastating loss for us after we finally put together a big inning against a quality starting pitcher. This was a big win for us.
The umps really spoiled what was an important game in the standing for both teams. I don’t understand why some umps what to make the games about them. The other extreme is they are totally checked out sometimes and won’t even make fair/foul calls. Just be as consistent as possible, and try to get in position to make the right calls. That’s all anyone can ask for.
South Oakland plays next on Wednesday night, 9pm at Springview Field vs the Bandidos.
The Ducks play a rare afternoon game on the hottest day of the year against the Devils today in Spring Hill. This is the rubber match for these teams as they have split the season series 1-1. The Ducks won 6-5 in extra innings earlier in the year, and the Devils won the rematch 7-3 in May.
Both teams are mired in the bottom third of the standings and are looking for a spark to turn their seasons around. Someone has to win today. Actually, a tie wouldn’t surprise me the way this season is going.
The Ducks Sunday squad travels up 79 today to take on Cranberry in Cranberry. The last time these two teams played, Cranberry beat South Oakland at the Duck Pond in a game that came down to the final at bat.
Cranberry lost their last game to the resurgent South Hills Devils, and the Ducks defeated the North Park Senators. Recent history suggests another close game today. Sources tell me both teams are short handed.
Here’s a link to the Cranberry Blog. Solid work as always up there. I can relate to not spelling Piranhas right on the first time, ever.
It seems like vacation season is happening earlier this year. It’s certainly hit us harder sooner than usual. Having to scramble for guys and putting together a patchwork lineup is one thing I don’t miss about managing. I think this affects older teams more as family responsibilities pile up. I could be wrong.
At some point, availability just turns into an excuse, and it’s really tiring to keep talking about it. Everyone deals with it. We should be able to win with a couple backups playing. We have good enough pitching and in many cases it’s our starters not hitting. It’s been a really tough year attendance wise for a number of reasons. Some are excusable and some aren’t. Weekends are brutal for us. We’ve added a couple guys to hopefully remedy this situation going forward.
Our history with the big roster started after forfeiting a playoff game to the Black Sox in 2004. We won game one of the semis handily, then there was a rain out and a rescheduled game that turned into a forfeit somehow. Then we played with seven guys and Craig Boley in game 3 and lost. The Sox won the title that year. We were robbed.
We can still go on a run. The playoffs are what matter, and as long as we have a shot at the top five, we need to win games to give ourselves the best chance to get to the semi finals. I like our odds in a series with our staff. There are some models out there that have high odds of us facing Cranberry in the second round.
Billy is throwing for us today, and hopefully we have the infielders to rotate our closer in if there is a save situation. I like our chances in a close game. We are due to pull one out in the last inning against these guys.
Brandon Blackstone (W, 2-1) pitched a complete game, one-hitter to end the Ducks five game losing streak. Tom Pulice capped a five-run fourth inning with a bases clearing, 3RBI double. The Ducks (3-6) scored one run in the third inning, and added another in the fifth and sixth.
S. Blackstone, Pulice, Gwin, and Doak hit doubles. TJ Morgan drove in a run with a bases loaded walk.
The game was scoreless for a while but the Ducks put together a big inning and got to North Hills’ starter who was effective the first two times through the order.
The Ducks start a run of three games in five days. South Oakland plays Cranberry and South Hills this weekend, followed by a Wednesday night tilt against Bakery Square.
Realignment Watch 2021
This year we will keep track of how the Senators and BIG OIL fare after moving up a division.
The Senators lost 8-0 to the South Oakland Ducks.
Runs allowed: 73
Run differential: -60
The Oilers squared off against Jefferson Hills this weekend in an all time battle of NABA heels. Jefferson Hills won 14-6.
Runs allowed: 39
Run differential -13
South Oakland plays next against Cranberry. Saturday, 5pm at Veteran’s Park of Cranberry (North Boundary Park).