Gameday 15: Ducks vs. Bandidos

2020 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (5-8-1)

vs

Bakery Square Bandidos (7-5)

9pm

Springview Field

Projected Starters:

Ducks: Blackstone

Bandidos: Gallagher

South Oakland looks to snap its four-game winless streak tonight against Bakery Square. The Ducks won the first two meetings 14-8 and 6-3 (8 inn.), respectively.

Tonight is throwback night. Players from each team are encouraged to wear their oldest NABA jersey to celebrate our league’s rich 17-year history.

Bad News for the Bandidos

 

 

Gameday 13: Ducks vs Eagles

2020 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (5-7)

vs

South Side Eagles (2-10)

9pm

Springview Field

Probable starters:

Ducks: Patton?

Eagles: Horowitz

The Ducks look to rebound tonight, after back-to-back extra innings losses to Cranberry. The standings are still pretty tight, but South Oakland finds itself two games under .500 with eight games left, 2.5 games out of first. A division title is mathematically unlikely at this point.

The Eagles are 2-10, and that’s not a great record, but they shut us out earlier this year, and took us to extra innings the other time. At least tonight we are at the Duck Pond, our record is pretty good there.

We need to win some games and get on a roll before the playoffs. It would be great to get a home game in the first round if we miss out on a bye. We want to peak at the right time. Tonight is as good a time as any to start a winning streak.

Bad News for the Eagles

 

Gameday 12: Ducks vs Cranberry

2020 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side

vs

Cranberry Crusaders

9pm

Springview Field

Probable Starters:

Ducks: Blackstone

Cran: Valenti

The Ducks look to avoid a season sweep by Cranberry tonight at the Duck Pond. Cranberry has historically been a bad matchup for us, but I don’t think they’ve ever swept us. I could be wrong. Either way, tonight is a big game. We don’t want to be two games under .500 heading into the Eagles series against their new guy who shut us out last time we faced him.

I think we are finishing up last game before we start the next one, but I’m not sure.

We may lose an extra inning game by double digit runs. That’s no small feat. Maybe we will score eleven with two outs. Monday really devolved. Still, with a win tonight we can get out of this two game set even, and jump back in the mix for a bye.

Bad News for Cranberry

 

 

Gameday 11: Ducks vs Cranberry

2020 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

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

vs

Cranberry Crusaders (5-5)

9pm

Springview Field

Probable Starters:

Cranberry: Germani (1-1, 12 K, ERA: 3.13)

Ducks: Welsh (1-1, 26 K, ERA: 2.95)

The Ducks open a two-game series against Cranberry tonight in Spring Hill. South Oakland needs a win to keep within striking distance of what is shaping up to be an exciting pennant race.

If you haven’t already, go vote for Player of the Decade at Cranberry’s blog. Andy does good work over there. He was an actual journalist once.

Everyone is really even this year. The Eagles have lost a couple tough games, too, or it could be even tighter.

It will be interesting to see how the first place Oilers fare when they get a bunch of games in a week. How they handle their games in hand will determine a lot. So far they’ve only lost to us and Cranberry.

Bandidos and Devils played a scorcher last night. At the halfway point of the season, Bandidos CF, Eric Friend is making a strong case for Double A MVP. He’s putting up Dustin Winston type numbers.

2020 has had an old school PGH NABA feel to it. Maybe I’m just overly nostalgic and more appreciative of this season after being stuck in my house all spring. There are all-time stats floating around, and  all-decade teams. Moore Park is back in the rotation, the Carrick’s ace took a couple teammates to the Devils, and the heart and soul of the Black Sox is playing in South Oakland. All the games feel more important. I think there’s a different vibe this season. I hope we all get through it safely.

We need to make a pushThis two game series against Cranberry is big, especially if it comes down to tie-breakers at the end of the year.

We always play well at the Duck Pond. Springview is in the best shape of her life.

Bad News for the Crusaders

Gameday 9: Ducks at Oilers

2020 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

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

at

Hebrew Oilers (3-1)

7:30pm

Moore Park

Probable Starters:

BIG OIL: Pearson

Ducks: Welsh

South Oakland travels to historic Moore Park to play the Hebrew Oilers tonight. This is our first game played under “yellow” conditions. If I did anything right as manager, it was quitting before this season. What a mess. The last game between these two teams played at Moore Park ended in a 6-6 tie. It was so long ago, I still had enough of an arm to throw out a runner. Those were the days. Outfield assists and no pandemic.

BIG OIL lost to Cranberry 13-3 on Sunday, but they only had eight guys. We’ve had a good rotating cast of villains in this league (including the Ducks) and our share of rivalries. The Oilers are right up there in both categories.

They have always beaten us when it matters, though, and as evenly matched as we’ve been over the years, they have a title and another finals appearance under their belt. Both years they beat us in the playoffs after we beat them in the regular season. This is kind of how it was with us and the Black Sox for years. We could never get passed them until we brought in Fago the first time. Since 2010, we’ve made most of our personnel additions from within the league. Usually when teams fold (Hurricanes, Owlz, Militia, Bulldogs and most recently the Black Sox) or their manager pisses off a bunch of players like the Bulldogs. Longevity has benefitted us in this regard. The Oilers don’t add many guys from within the league.

This is a big series for both teams.

We have a few former Black Sox who will feel at home in Brookline tonight. Hopefully that gives us the edge we need.

Bad News for the Oilers

Gameday 8: Ducks vs Devils

2020 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (3-4)

vs

South Hills Devils (4-2)

9pm

Springview Field

Probable Starters:

Ducks: Patton

Devils: Miske

South Oakland looks to avenge Sunday’s loss to the defending champion Devils tonight in Spring Hill. This is a pretty even matchup and should be another close game. We let Sunday get away from us defensively, and didn’t get to their starter early. He’s not a guy you can let settle in. As far as I know, we have our full infield tonight. That should help. Hopefully, we have an answer for all their lefties.

This is a big game for us to get back to .500 before the Oilers series next week. We always play well at home. I like our chances at the Duck Pond.

Bad News for the Devils

Gameday 7: Ducks at Devils

2020 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (3-3)

at

South Hills Devils (3-2)

8pm

Volunteers Field

Projected Starters:

Ducks: Blackstone (0-2)

Devils: Heinecke (0-1)

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.

Bad News for the Devils

 

Gameday 5: Ducks vs Bandidos

2020 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (1-3)

vs

Bakery Square Bandidos (2-0)

9pm

Spring View Field

Projected starters:

Ducks: Patton

Bandidos: Friend

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:

  • Gwin: 2003-07
  • Jones: 2008-09
  • Gwin: 2010-11
  • Fago: 2012
  • Morgan: 2013
  • Gwin: 2014-19
  • Pulice: 2020

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.

Tonight is a homecoming for the Ducks.

Bad News for the Bandidos

 

 

 

 

Gameday 21: Ducks at BIG OIL

2019 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (12-8)

at

Hebrew Oilers (13-7)

7pm

Mellon Park

South Oakland looks to sweep the season series against defending champion BIG OIL tonight in East Liberty. The Ducks and Oilers both have an outside shot at overtaking the Grizzlies (14-5), and theoretically Cranberry (13-2) could also collapse. It should be a good matchup in the latest chapter of the Ducks/Oilers rivalry.

With the WOLFPACK’s forthcoming dissolution imminent, the Oilers and Jays have to be neck and neck for most hated team in Double A. We will see the Jays on Saturday on the field with no mound, provided last night’s rain didn’t destroy it.

The odds of winning the division or getting the two seed are not in our favor. We still want a home game in the first round, and a better draw in he tournament, so our last four games are important. 

We want to go into the post season playing well. A win tonight would at least prevent the Oilers from getting the two seed, and that should be plenty of motivation. 

Bad News for BIG OIL

Gameday 18: Ducks vs D2

2019 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (10-7)

vs

D2 (5-12)

9pm

Springview Field

South Oakland looks to extend its four game win streak tonight against Pittsburgh D2. It should be another good game, as we played to a frustrating 4-0 loss earlier in the season after we left a bunch of guys on base, and made a few costly errors. We should have a better turnout tonight than we did for last game against D2, so maybe that will help.

I don’t know how D2 has such a poor record. I feel like they have five, 20-year-olds that throw strikes, and they can run. I have no idea what “D2” stands for. District Two? some kind of nebulous corporate sponsor? Who knows.

This is the start of a hectic stretch of games to end the season. We play tonight, Grizzlies on Wednesday, Oilers Friday, Jays Saturday, Grizzlies again on Sunday, and we still have another makeup game with D2 to schedule.

The other postponed D2 game was going to be played Monday, but somehow the WOLFPACK! are breathing their last breath on the final week of the season just to make teams that weren’t scheduled to play them in June waste arms, and take up rain dates from teams that didn’t forfeit a whole month’s worth of games. We will get a forfeit for the WOLFPACK! game that was rained out in April that we tried to reschedule but didn’t get a response from West View management. What a shit show. That West View win, means our next victory this year will secure a .500 record, which is a step along the way to hopefully positioning ourselves to get a good draw in the playoffs and make another deep run this year.

I like our chances tonight at the Duck Pond.

Bad News for D2