Ducks Lose. Season Over.

2015 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland lost 12-5 to the Eagles today in Shaler. A couple key errors led to seven unearned runs.

This was a really frustrating game. We were missing our ace, and a couple starters, but we played poorly and the Eagles took advantage of our mistakes. They put the ball in play and we missed it and every error led to runs. Apparently the Eagles beat the Express today too.

This was a microcosm of the whole season for us. We got down after a few errors and we could not come back. Something was off this year and it’s hard to pinpoint. I think if we had some success early in a couple games we blew in the late innings, we could have had a better mentality throughout the season in tough spots. I don’t know. It was a rough year. Collectively, we underachieved right to the end.

But we will be back next year, and with little turnover and a season playing together we will be fine if we can add a couple arms to the top of the rotation. If the Black Sox disband, it might help up in this regard.

I take the blame as manager for not doing more to put guys in o to succeed this season.

My personal highlight of the season was the game at Pie Traynor when my daughter came to watch and I hit a ball about as far as I’ve hit one in ten years, for a triple to center. She was so fired up about it. Her dad hit a triple. That was worth all the hassle of running the team for me. That’s while I do it again next year, because my daughter likes watching her dad play baseball, and that won’t last for much longer.

One time she said to me, “Dad, remember when you lost ten to nothing? That wasn’t very good. But it’s OK. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose.”

So there’s some perspective, I guess, as I sulk in front of the TV, trying to muster the energy to shower.

Thank you, Ducks for giving me another year of baseball, and keeping the team going. Thanks, Joe Graff for doing the thankless job of running the league, again.

Thanks, Bob Faust and Garrett Moore for your years of service to the Ducks. Both Bob and Garrett retired folowing this season. Bob played for a total of five years in 2005-07 and 2014-15, while Garrett logged six seasons at various intervals between 2006 and 2015. Both guys showed up and helped out and played hard. You will be missed.

Thanks, to the fans who showed up every so often, sorry we couldn’t give you something better to watch this weekend.

Big thanks to the Limbachs who kept score and provided all kinds of support and positivity during a tough season.

I hope Jefferson Hills looses, whatever else happens in the playoffs.

Here are the team awards:


Pat DiPaola

Defensive Player of the Year:

DJ Dover

Offensive Player of the Year:

Brandon Culp

(with a nod to great seasons at the plate by Morgan, Strom, Koshzow and Tuomisto)



Ducks Swim Into Playoffs

2015 South Oakland Ducks Baseball, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland of the North Side has won three straight and four of their last five games to finish with a semi-respectable 10-11 record. The Ducks clinched the 5th seed with a 10-0 win over the Devils, last Sunday.

The Ducks have won their last two games by a combined score of 26-6.

Our game vs. the Bulldogs tonight was cancelled becuase the city gave our rain date to the youth league that plays at Spring Hill, didn’t tell anyone until this afternoon, and we couldn’t find an open field anywhere else tonight on such short notice.

I guess it’s fitting. The regular season was somewhat disappointing (as was the blog), but high points include beating the defending champion WOLFPACK 7-1, the wild, 13-12 walkoff win vs. Cranberry, and the walkoff come-from-behind 3-2 win against the Eagles last week.

We can make up for all that mediocrity with a couple wins this weekend.

Our lineup matches up well. We scored 121 runs in 21 games. If we keep playing sound defense, we can make a run at it, especially given the playoff format. We just have to get past the play-in game. The one and done round is intense.

Here is the bracket:

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 4.26.01 PM

Here are the standings, pending the outcome of tonight’s Carrick / WOLFPACK! game

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 10.19.14 PM

On Saturday morning we will play the Eagles, with whom we have split a pair of really close games this season.

If we lose to the Eagles our season is over.

If we win, we will play the winner of the Cranberry vs. Oilers Game immediately following the Eagles game.

I remember when the Eagles had a lefty shortstop for like 3 years and routinely beat us anyway. Bad times.

Hopefully we have 3 games next weekend for me to not recap.


So Much Rain

2015 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

As of now, the Ducks (8-11) have three games left. The Clinton and WOLFPACK games don’t look like they’re getting made up. I’ve not heard from the West View coach, and there isn’t an open day for the Cherokee game with the current make-up date log jam.

The rainout today actually helps us, as we would have been playing with 9 guys and without several starters. We should have just about everyone for the makeup game Monday.

Upcoming schedule:

South Oakland plays tomorrow at 11:30 vs West View Apache at Moore Park.

I don’t think I’ve ever played a day game at Moore Park.

We will make up today’s rainout vs. the Devils, 8:30 Monday night at Hershel Park.

We will finish the season against the Bulldogs, Wed, 9PM at Spring Hill. In a game where both teams will just try not to burn pitching before the playoffs. Mike Brandt is getting an appearance on the hill in this one.

The playoffs start next weekend.

Top 2 teams get a bye to the semis

3 seed gets a bye to the quarterfinal

4 vs. 9

5 vs. 8

6 vs. 7

We will likely finish 5th or 6th, setting up a first round matchup against one of the Devils, Oilers or Eagles. If we win that game, we will play either the 3 seed or the winner of the other first round matchup for a spot in the semi finals. I don’t know if the brackets re-seed every round or not.

A couple early season losses in winnable games really changed the complexion of things for us. We’d be playing for a bye this week if we had a couple bounces go our way. Those are the breaks, though, and when things aren’t going well, it feels like every close call and bad hop goes against you. We needed to do a better job with the stuff in our control and we didn’t. I managed us out of a few wins. But none of that really matters now. If our pitchers throw strikes and we make the routine plays, our lineup matches up well against anyone. We’ve won a few close games in the last couple weeks, despite a couple ugly losses. We can make a run at it. Maybe we’re due for a couple good breaks.



Game Day 12: Ducks at Monsters

2015 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (4-7)


Monongahela Monsters (4-7)


Moore Park

South Oakland looks to build on Wednesday’s win over the WOLFPACK in tonight’s inter-division game against the Monsters. This team played us tough last season. We need to bank wins against Single A teams, but we can’t look past these games. I hope they have their boom box with walk up music like last year.

We need our pitching staff to step up during this upcoming stretch where we have five games in eight days. Four of these games are against single A teams, and another against West End (0-6), who has struggled against AAA competition so far this season. If we take 4 of 5, we can get back to .500 while the teams ahead of us beat up on each other. After a rough start, I think we’re starting to come together.


Golf, Confederates Dominated by Bulldogs, misc

Bad News For the Monsters.



Ducks Win

2015 South Oakland Ducks Baseball, Ducks win, NABA, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland snapped a two-game losing streak last night, beating the WOLFPACK 7-1 at Spring Hill.


Pat Dipaola pitched a complete game for his first win as a Duck, improving his record to 1-2 on the season. He struck out 6 and walked 2.

The Ducks took a 1-0 lead in the first when Tuomisto singled in Gwin. Gwin has been hit by a pitch in every regular season game the Ducks have played against West View in the last two seasons.


West View didn’t really threaten until the third when they had a guy single and steal second with one out. Limbach threw him out trying to steal third, and Pat struck out the batter to end the inning.

In the bottom of the third, the Ducks added 2 more runs on four singles. After a fielder’s choice, Strom was by a pitch in the goin for his first RBI of the season. AFter a 2-for-2 night at the plate, Strom is batting .500 on the season.

duck water gif

The Ducks scored two more in the fourth when Nichols doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a throwing error by the thirdbaseman on Casale’s infield single. Casale was thrown out at second trying to advance. Then Gwin doubled and scored on another throwing error by the thirdbaseman.


That kid had a rough night. He’s normally really solid over there.

West View scored a run in the fifth, loading the bases on 2 one-out singles and a walk, and scoring on a single to right. Doc worked out of the jam, getting a wolf to ground into a 1-2 out out, and then inducing a bases loaded flyout to center.


It was during this inning one of their fans taunted Morgan in right. Because the league needs more old men who come to games and scream at the slightly younger men who are playing adult league baseball against their children or grandchildren. Great stuff.


In the bottom of the sixth, Morgan hit a one-out single to right, driving in 2 runs to put the game out of reach.

Their pitcher threw over 130 pitches. We had many good at bats and wore him down. We didn’t make any errors.

This was a much needed win against a good team. We crushed the defending champs a week after losing to the last place Devils. It’s been that kind of year, but things are looking up.

With the win, South Oakland imroves to 4-7 on the season. The Ducks next game is 9PM Saturday night, at Moore Park vs. the Monsters.



Gameday 9: Ducks as Black Sox

2015 South Oakland Ducks Baseball


Tonight we write another chapter in the history of a storied Pittsburgh NABA rivalry. There are a lot of guys on our team that haven’t played Brookline, or haven’t played them as Ducks. But I think they’ll learn quick. In 2007, I think, The Sox split and the Rebels were formed. From the Rebels came the Gray Bats and then the Militia. This current group of Ducks has several former Militia players. Last year when we moved down to Single A, several Ducks went to the Black Sox. Former Ducks manager and current outfielder TJ Morgan played on the Sox last year, current Sock, James Fago won a title as a Duck and managed the team for a couple seasons. Skovron was a Duck for two seasons. In 2010, Mark Guthrie shut down the Sox in game three of the finals to capture the Ducks 2nd championship.


Arguably the two most successful franchises in league history, the Ducks and Black Sox have been playing each other for nine years. This is likely the last season for the Sox, before they disperse and Rob Cool starts stalking Fago and that lefty they have.

There’s something about playing in Moore Park, with the terrible lights, the cigarette smoke and spilled beer in the the concrete bleachers, trying not to break your ankle in that gully on the first base line that brings out the best in the Ducks.


Bad News for the Black Sox