Season Recap, Team Awards

2016 South Oakland Ducks, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

We finished in 3rd place. Respectable. And while the Oilers knocked us out of the playoffs, we won the scooter.

When the 2015 season ended, the team had a lot of questions. At times it left me wondering whether it was worth all the time to keep the team going if we couldn’t contend for a title even after dropping down to AA. But if the 2015 season left players wondering if it was time to hang ’em up, the playoff run in 2016 which ended in a defeat to the Oilers in the losers bracket final, has the team generally optimistic and eager to get back at it next spring. It was a tough way to go out, but we battled.

Game Day [7] Ducks vs. Matadors.

Maybe if I handle the pitching vs. the Oilers differently we wind up in the finals and give Shaler a run. Who knows. Shaler probably beats us anyway. They are young and were rested going into that series. But maybe not. If we kept hitting and got a couple solid starts out of our pitching staff, maybe pull the upset.  Maybe if we took care of business against Cranberry and South Hills, we get a better draw and wind up in the finals against the Oilers which we declare a draw to avoid either team having to move up to a division. Anyway, all the hypotheticals are pointless. Shaler will get crushed in AAA next year. Fuck that shitty field and shittier time slot.


Beating the Eagles and WOLFPACK back to back to get to the loser’s bracket finals, was one of the highlights of my long-ass Ducks career. In 14 seasons, I don’t think I’ve felt as satisfied after a win as I did when Jon struck that last kid out to end the WOLFPACK game. They did not expect to lose after beating us by 19 a week earlier. That 19-run loss means nothing now.

disco rubber ducks

We played our best baseball in the playoffs, and came up just short due to our lack of pitching depth. Hopefully we can add another couple arms in the off season. Maybe we have some answers in-house that were underutilized this season. Either way, we will return the core of our lineup, which will be one year wiser and even more full of grit and veteran savvy.

I’d like to thank Joe Graff for running the league, and all the players and managers for giving me the chance to play baseball for another year. It means a lot to be able to play anything resembling competent, competitive baseball at age 35. I don’t take it for granted.

Congrats to the Bulldogs, Pittsburgh D2 and the Rebels on your championships. It’s always good to see Jefferson Hills lose.

Thanks again to the Limbachs and all the fans for coming out to watch us play. It’s much more fun when there are people in the stands.

I’d especially like to thank my teammates for giving me a team to play on, manage and write poorly about for another season. We’ll get em next year.

The_Pack_Wolfpack_Party_coverTeam Awards:

Offensive Player of the Year:  Branden Chartier (with a nod to Morgan, Strom, and Graff)

Defensive Player of the year: Tony Casale

Pitcher of the Year: Chuck Zuzak (though Chris and Pat won big games for us down the stretch and in the post season)

MVP: Tony Casale






Is That Jon Moore’s Music? Ducks Sweep Playoff Double Header

2016 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks win, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland (2-1) upset the top two seeds to advance to the loser’s bracket final in a wild Sunday double header at John Herb Field yesterday. The South Oakland Ducks beat the second-seed Eagles 9-8, and the one-seed WOLFPACK!!! 12-8.

South Oakland plays tonight 8:30 vs. BIG OIL for a spot in the finals.


Game 1 Recap:

Ben Sorosky drove in five runs and the Ducks infield made several high-level plays on defense to lead the Ducks past the South Side Eagles (0-2).

South Oakland scored a run in the first on TJ Morgan’s RBI groundout, the Eagles answered with 2 in the bottom of the inning, but had a guy thrown out at home and another picked off second.

The Ducks scored two in the second on Sorosky’s single and three more in the third behind an RBI single by Koshzow and sacrifice flies by Graff and Moore.

6-2 Ducks after 3.


The Eagles worked out of a jam in the fourth, and scored a run in the bottom of the inning to bring the score to 6-3 after 4.

In the fifth, Sorosky drove in two more runs on a fielder’s choice, with Graff hustling all the way from second to score.

8-3 Ducks going into the bottom of the fifth.

The Eagles were doubled off on a fly-out to right when the runner didn’t re-tag second. He was not happy. The Eagles added one run in the inning.

8-4 Ducks going into the bottom of the sixth.

The Eagles rallied. they scored four in the inning and had the bases loaded with one out when Dipaola got their two hitter to ground into a bases loaded, 5-3 double play.

doc naba

The game was tied 8-8 going into the seventh.

Koshzow leadoff for the Ducks with a HBP and went to third on Moore’s single to right. More stole second. Then with one out, Ben Sorosky drove in the winning run with an RBI groundout to the shortstop.

In the bottom of the seventh, after a lead-off single, South Oakland turned a  4-6-3 double play, and then the game ended on a legit Jeter play on a ground ball in the hole to Ducks, shortstop Tony Casale. Casale had maybe the best defensive day I’ve seen by a shortstop in this league.

Final: 9-8 Ducks.

The Eagles made a few base running errors in the game. We ran the bases well. That was essentially the difference in this one. We had a chance to crumble in the 6th and 7th but held it together with a couple clutch plays by the defense.

Zuzak (ND) started for the Ducks, pitching five strong innings before giving way to the bullpen who held on for the win. Pat Dipaola pitched two innings in relief for the win (1-1).


Game 2 Recap:

Pat DiPaola won his second game of the day and Jon Moore pitched a scoreless one and two thirds innings for the save, as South Oakland out-hit West View to advance to the loser’s bracket final.

With two outs in the second, Moore walked and Nichols singled. Then Casale singled in a run, Gwin singled in a run, and Morgan doubled in two. 4-0 Ducks with two out and a man on second. Chartier singled in Morgan. 5-0 Ducks. Then Koshzow singled and Graff hit a two run double and was thrown out on a close play at third.

7-0 Ducks going into the bottom of the second.

spy duck

We kicked it around a little, and West View took advantage. They scored three unearned, five total, on two errors and a couple clutch hits.

7-5 Ducks after two.

In the third, offensive force, Ben Sorosy scored on a past ball, and Gwin drove in two runs with a single to right. Our defense kept West View off the board in the bottom half of the inning. No one scored in the fourth. West View scored two in the fifth.

10-7 Ducks after five. After a single, a fielder’s choice, an error and a triple lead to a Westview run, Jon Moore took the mound for the Ducks.

One out, Ducks up 10-8 with runners on second and third. Moore struck out the first batter he faced, walked a guy, then struck out another batter with the bases loaded to end the threat.

10-8 Ducks after six.

Gwin singled in two runs in the seventh to give the Ducks some breathing room.

In the bottom of the seventh, Moore closed the coffin on West View’s season, retiring the side in order.

Ducks win. 12-8.

undertaker ducks.gif

I’d like to thank all the Ducks fans who came out to support our team, and the West View fans who came out to yell stuff at our team. What a great atmosphere. It felt really good to eliminate that team.


In defeating the Eagles and WOLFPACK!!! yesterday, the Ducks beat the two teams who eliminated them in the previous two playoff campaigns. South Side eliminated South Oakland in the 2015 play-in game. West View defeated the Ducks in the 2014 semifinals.



Ducks Lose. Elimination Game Set For Next Saturday *UPDATED

2016 South Oakland Ducks, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball, who names their team the Rebels?

The Eagles lost to Shaler Tuesday night. The South Oakland Ducks will play the South Side Eagles on Saturday. Time and place TBD.

Oilers vs. WOLFPACK was rained out and rescheduled for Wednesday night. The winner will play Shaler in the winner’s bracket final on Saturday.

steel cage match hebre oilers

As noted previously:

Cranberry beat the Express in the other play-in game and then lost to Shaler.

Cranberry will play the loser of Wednesday night’s game between West View and the Oilers, next weekend.

Here’s an updated bracket for reference.

Round 1 Recap:

The Hebrew Oilers defeated the South Oakland Ducks 5-3 at Springview Field yesterday. Despite solo home runs from Koshzow and Chartier, South Oakland fell short in their opening round playoff game, leaving eight men on base.

Strom made a great diving catch in right field.

The Ducks led 2-1 going into the third, but the Oilers scored three runs and added one in the sixth. Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, South Oakland scored a run to bring the game to 5-3, and had the winning run at the plate before a game-ending fly out.

We had a lot of hard hit outs, and wasted some opportunities. This was a tough one to lose, but the Oilers deserve credit for making the plays and not allowing us to extend innings. We had good enough pitching to win this game. Nothing would fall for us, and they hit it in the gaps. They made a couple errors but we didn’t capitalize.


Gameday 24: Ducks at WOLFPACK

2016 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (12-11)


West View WOLFPACK (16-6)


John Herb Field

The Oilers forfeited their makeup game vs. Shaler today. With the Oilers loss, we have officially clinched the 4th seed and a first round bye. As far as the standings go, tonight’s game is meaningless for both teams, as the WOLFPACK have cruised through the last three-quarters of the season and won the division title.

Regardless of the standings, we want to keep playing good baseball and finish on a high note and finish above .500 this season.

Gameday [12] Ducks (8-3) vs. Eagles (2-5)

 Bad News for the WOLFPACK




Ducks Win. 4th Seed Likely Clinched.

2016 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks win, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side defeated the Carrick Express 5-2 in Carrick last night. Chuck Zuzak (W, 5-2) pitched a complete game for the victory, and Erik Tuomisto drove in 2 runs in his final game as a Duck. The win moves the Ducks (12-11) into a tie for fourth place with the Oilers (11-10-2). Carrick falls to 8-13-1 with the loss.

The Ducks scored a run in the first after Chartier singled to left and moved Gwin to third. Gwin scored on a throwing error on an attempted pickoff.

In the top of the second inning, Tuomisto drove in a run on a bases loaded sac-fly and the Ducks scored again on two-out single by Morgan to make the score 3-0.

Carrick scored in the bottom half of the inning to close the gap to 3-1.

The Ducks added a run in the 5th on an RBI double by Tuomisto. Carrick scored in the bottom half of the inning to make the score 4-2, but the Ducks added another run in the 7th on a sac bunt and a throwing error that allowed Casale to score all the way from from first.


Thursday Night

Other stuff:

  • Zuzak worked out of a bases loaded, no outs jam in the second inning.
  • Lonnie Petril made a great catch down the line in right to save a run in the third.
  • In the bottom of the sixth, with two outs and the tying run on second, an Express player tried to steal home and was thrown out. Great poise by Chuck to calmly step off and throw him out.
  • Ducks right fielder, Brian Strom went 2-for-2 with a double and a walk in his return from the disabled list.
  • We recorded a season high 2 sac bunts in the game.
  • Joe Graff and Andrew McCray each recorded a HBP.
  • We definitely have hit harder throwers better this season. We beat Carrick’s ace, and swept the season series against a solid opponent.

ducks invade

An Oilers loss in their suspended game against the Rebels (Shaler is up big going into the bottom of the 4th) or a Ducks win vs. West View on Sunday, will clinch a first round bye for the Ducks.

Ducks first baseman, Erik Tuomisto is moving. He finishes his career with a .500 batting average and leads the team in RBI over the last two seasons. He will be missed.

South Oakland finishes the regular season Sunday night against West View.





Ducks Lose.

2016 South Oakland Ducks, NABA, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland dropped to 11-10 on the season with a 7-2 loss to Cranberry (8-12-2).

Their shortstop hit two, two-run home runs. We made their pitcher look like Bob Gibson. We got a good start from Chuck other than those two bad pitches.

We did, however, look great in our throwbacks. So did Germani (sic).

We are a game behind the Eagles for second, but only half a game out of fifth and Shaler has like ten games in hand that they have to make up.

We are 3-5 agains the two teams with the worst records in the league. It’s confusing.

We have three games left. We need our players to show up and win a couple so we can avoid the play-in game and head into the playoffs with some momentum.

Next game is vs. Shaler, next Wednesday, 9PM at Springview Field.



Gameday 21: Ducks vs. Cranberry

2016 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (11-9)


Cranberry (7-12-2)


Springview Field

Tonight is throwback night in Spring Hill. The Ducks will wear uniforms representing teams across 14 seasons of the Pittsburgh NABA. I think Cranberry might breakout their inaugural 2010 unis for the event as well.

The Ducks look to bounce back from a bad loss in Shaler Monday night. Cranberry has an impressive two ties on the season.

There’s a log-jam in the 2-6 spots in the standings. We’ve got to get a couple wins down the stretch here and we tend to play better at home.

I haven’t seen our best hitter in like a month, but we have a lot of guys who can step in and contribute.

bad news bears

Bad News for Cranberry