Ducks Knocked Off by Grizzlies in Loser’s Bracket Finals

2018 South Oakland Ducks, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

After a dramatic, ten-inning walk-off, 7-6 win against the Devils, South Oakland lost 11-2 with a shot at the championship on the line. It was a very frustrating way to go out after the team fought hard to win three straight playoff games. South Oakland finished 16-12 (combined regular season and playoff record).

I messed up the pitching vs. the Grizzlies. I should have gone right to Patton and gotten what innings we could out of him, instead of trying to hold him out until the last 3. The game was out of hand by then, so it didn’t do us any good.

A couple errors and some early base running mistakes when the game was still close, let it get away from us. But as the manager, I take the blame for not making what was a pretty obvious decision. I don’t think anyone expected the relief appearance to go quite as bad as it did for the second pitcher in the game for us, but still, we had Randy on two days rest and I should have just put him in then. It might not have mattered, but still. If we hold Bauerstown to 2 or three that inning, instead of five, the whole feel of it changes, and we are at least more engaged. It was really deflating.

That loss certainly takes the shine off what was an amazing game in the quarter final. That was easily one of the best games in Ducks history. Ten-inning walk off win with like four lead changes. I’ll remember the Devils game for the rest of my life. That may sound corny as fuck, but it was great.

The Oiler’s game was the one we needed, the first round game that we lost 2-1. If we take that one, we can maybe sneak through to the winner’s bracket final and at least not have to play a double header, but who knows. We’re dealing with alternate reality shit now. Maybe we lose our next two if we beat the Oilers in game one.

Three wins in the playoffs is our best season in a while. We finished better than 10 other teams.

This was a really hard year for me in a lot of ways outside of baseball, and then when running the Ducks got to be another source of stress instead of a way to blow off steam and play a game I love with my friends, it really fucked me up. I was very close to quitting a few times this season, and maybe that showed in my play or my decision making, but I tried to give us a chance to win every game, while still getting everyone at bats and some time in the field. That is how I will always run this team. I will always put the long term survival of the team first.

The reason I dropped down from AAA in 2013 was because it wasn’t fun anymore. There were a lot of times it wasn’t fun at all this season. But I’ll keep running the team because I don’t know what I’d do between April and August otherwise. This team has been a part of my life for fifteen seasons, and I think we have another run left in us with this core. The window might be closing, but there’s reason for optimism.

quack

 

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Ducks Win: South Oakland 14, Carrick 3

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks WIn, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

The South Oakland Ducks (13-9) defeated the Express (9-10) by eleven runs last night in Carrick. Ducks catcher Tom Pulice went 2-4 with 2 RBI, and a double, and has emerged as a viable MVP candidate.

As a team South Oakland recorded 18 hits including 5 doubles.

Mike Longman (W, 2-0) and Joe Graff combined for five solid innings on the mound.

With the win, the Ducks match their total from last season when the team finished 13-8-2.

South Oakland can finish no lower than fifth and can clinch a first round bye with a win over the Bandidos on Tuesday night.

If the Ducks lose tomorrow, they can’t get a bye.

Quack

Ducks Win. South Oakland 12, D2 0 (5 inn.)

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks WIn, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Randy Patton (W, 4-3) allowed just two base runners, and faced one batter over the minimum and all ten Ducks starters reached base safely, in a lopsided 12-0 victory over D2 in Munhall last night.

South Oakland (7-6) scored 3 in the first on an RBI double by Pulice and a basses loaded 2-out, 2-run single by Casale. The Ducks scored seven runs in the second as D2’s starter had trouble finding the zone. South Oakland scored two more in the fourth  Casale hit a 2-run triple to center.

D2 (8-3) didn’t have a base runner until their ten hitter was hit by a pitch in the fourth, and their eleven hitter singled. The runner on second was then doubled off on a fly out to center.

South Oakland’s next game is 6pm Thursday at Herschel Park vs D2

 

Some stats:

Patton: W, 5IP, 1H, 1HBP, 5K

Casale: 2-2, BB, SB, 3B, 4RBI, R

Pulice: 1-2, 2B, BB, RBI, R

Dover 1-2, SB, HBP, 2RBI, R

Gwin 2-2, HBP, SB, RBI, 2R

Graff: 0-1, 2BB, SB, 2R

Ducks Win. South Oakland 6, South Side 3

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks WIn, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (6-6) got back to .500 on the season against a tough South Side Eagles (4-5) team, winning by a score of 6-3 in Spring Hill last night.

The Ducks lead 2-1 going into the bottom of the fifth. Dover doubled to start the inning, advanced to third on a wild pitch and Toumisto drove him in with a groundout to the right side. Five batters later, Tony Casale singled with the bases loaded, followed by Ben Sorosky’s clutch pinch-hit single to right to cap off the four-run inning.

The Eagles scored two in the top of the seventh, but the rally fell short.

Randy Patton (W, 3-3) pitched six strong innings, allowing only 2 hits and 3 walks along with 2 Ks. Andy Nichols recorded the save (2).

South Oakland’s next game is Saturday at 2pm vs. 1st place Sheraden Jays.

  • We had the ump with the small strike zone, and there were a few questionable calls
  • I think the Eagles were short guys?
  • This is the first season sweep of the Eagles since 2010
  • If we beat the Jays Saturday, we will sweep all other bird teams
  • We jumped from 9th to a 5th place with the win

 

 

 

Ducks Win. South Oakland 7, Bauerstown 4

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks WIn, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland won its third straight game, defeating the Bauerstown Grizzlies (1-4) by a score of 7-3 in Munhall Wednesday night.

South Oakland lead 3-1 going into the bottom of the fourth when Mike Brandt doubled to the gap and later scored on a ground out by Maldonado.

The Ducks added another run in the fifth on Pulice’s team leading 8th RBI on a single to right to make the score 5-1.

Bauerstown clawed back into the game with a three-run sixth, but the Ducks answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning on singles by J. Zuzak, Petril, Maldonado and Gwin.

Randy Patton (W, 2-2) pitched five strong innings, and Chris Heisler finished out the game with a two inning save. The duo scattered nine hits on the night.

Mark Lombardi went 3-3 with 2 Runs scored.

Ben Gwin recorded the 300th hit of his Ducks career, an RBI single to right in the sixth inning.

South Oakland turned a 1-5-6 double play after a botched bunt attempt in the second.

We were the beneficiaries of a couple close plays in the field. Our 7-10 hitters went a combined: 4-10, 2B, 2 BB, RE, 2 SB, 4R

The Ducks next play Tuesday night at Herschel Park vs. the Devils.

Quack.

 

Team Awards

2017 South Oakland Ducks, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

The Bandidos won the title, after having split from the AAA Dirty Birds of 2016. Now they will move up again. Maybe they will just fold and split again instead? They’ve done an awful lot of branding to go that route. But maybe they’ll become the Astros. Winter meetings should be interesting. They are deserving champions and from what I can tell a bunch of solid guys. The top seeded Eagles lost after a pretty dominant regular season. The Oilers and Ducks were both upset early. 11th seeded D2 was in the semifinals. I wish they would have won it, and gone from A to AAA in two years.

Those first couple Wednesdays when we don’t have a game are always tough. This was a frustrating year for the format to go to single elimination. We had too much time off, I guess, and lost to a hot Express team who almost upset the Bandidos in the semis.

Next year, I’m going to reschedule a rainout for the week prior to the playoffs so we don’t have this problem again.

After another fun season, we once again fell short. We should return most of the same guys next year. Hopefully we can add an arm or two. It was frustrating to have Ben Sorosky and Randy step up, only to have guys who pitched well for us last year not show up to a lot of games for various reasons.

Here are the team awards.

Pitcher of the year: Ben Sorosky 

After not throwing for a few seasons, he came back and gave us solid innings every Wednesday. He was a great teammate and good clubhouse presence. Also had many sweet sacrifice bunts.

Defensive player of the year: Tom Pulice

Tony is probably the best defensive shortstop in the league, but I can’t give him this award every season, plus he was hurt for a while.

Tom came in and was arguably our MVP. Teams didn’t run on us this year, and he handled the pitching staff well.

Co-Offensive players of the year: TJ Morgan and Mark Lombardi

Check their stats. They both raked. We had a good of a 3-7 in the order as we ever had.

MVP: DJ Dover

Dover had possibly the most impressive single season I’ve seen as a Duck. He broke the single season HR record, lead the league in RBI and, and got pitched around a lot towards the end of the year. Bakery Square is not upset they didn’t have to face him in the playoffs. Dover also played short when Casale was out and provided serviceable defense there. Not lost in all this is that he drove from Erie every game and made all but two games when we had guys who wouldn’t show up for seemingly no reason. Also ran BP before every game for those who could make it.

For next year, we need pitching. We offer excellent run support and a home field with shitty lights where it’s hard to hit.

I think next year, we should plan on entering a tournament because it will be fun to take the show on the road and maybe bring some ringers along.

I want to thank all the fans who came out and everyone else in the league for making this year happen. Joe Graff for running the league and dealing with all the bullshit. Thanks to everyone who read the blog.

Finally, I want to thank my teammates for giving me another year to play ball. For a singles hitting hustle guy to play on a team full of former college players, albeit old ones, is pretty great. I’m happy I can contribute. As long as I can run out there in center, I’ll keep managing this team.

Quack

 

Ducks Lose. Ducks 2, Eagles 5

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Recap

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side lost the regular season finale, 5-2 to South Side at Herschel Park on Sunday. The Eagles lead 2-0 going into the top of the fifth when the Ducks scored a run on an Andy Nichols hit to shallow right, which the Eagles second baseman made a great play on to knock down. Nichols beat the throw to first and Mike Brandt appeared to beat the throw to the plate when he attempted to score from second on the play, but he was called out. Tough call there. It would’ve tied it with the middle of our order coming up, but whatever. We didn’t hit very well as a team today, so it might not have mattered.

The Eagles added three in the bottom half of the inning off the Ducks bullpen. The Ducks added a run in the sixth, but left some guys on base.

We made a few errors that lead to one Eagles run, and two walks to start the fifth lead to two runs.

The Eagles starter was really tough. We were short a couple key guys in our lineup, and their pitcher hit spots all day. Tough loss, but the Eagles earned it. They made all the plays.

Congrats to the Eagles on a great year. I think they are the top seed, but it may depend on what the Bandidos do vs. West View tonight.

Hopefully we see them in the finals or semifinals. I think it would be a great series. If anything, it will be tough to beat us five times in one season.

Dover went 2-3 with a double and a run

Gwin and Brandt were hit by pitches

Koshzow had an RBI double, Nichols had an RBI single

Heisler was the tough luck loser, going 4 innings allowing 1ER

 

Lost Scooter, Acid Flashbacks, and Roster Expansion

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks WIn, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

After losing out yet again on a division title with a tough loss to the Eagles last week and ceding the Brendan Chartier Memorial Spring Hill Scooter to the rival Oilers, South Oakland rebounded and won two games by a combined score of 25-4.

Friday, 7/7

Ducks 2, Oilers 5: I don’t know what happened here. We were short 6 starters and played the Oilers tough for seven innings before losing to that lefty again. Vinny Casal reached base 3 times, recording 2 HBP, and one walk. TJ Morgan, who is quietly putting together a spectacular season at the plate, went 1-2 with a HBP, and I think an RBI. I was on vacation. My bad, guys.

Wednesday, 7/12

Ducks 12, Wexford 4: South Oakland trailed 3-1 after two innings, but sent ten batters to the plate in the third, scoring 6 and the Sorcerers never really threatened after that. Dover went 2-for-2 with a sac fly and a walk. Sorosky pitched five innings for the W, and John Zuzak pitched two solid innings in relief, with 4Ks in his second appearance on the mound this season. Chris Heisler went 0-2 with a HBP.

Note: Sorosky pinch hit for a Ducks outfielder after what was an apparent mild acid flashback in the middle of an at bat. This year, we’ve had a pitcher and a pinch hitter enter a game in the middle of an at bat, both times due to injury.

Friday 7/14

Ducks 13, Devils 0: DJ Dover went 2-for-2 with two doubles, 2 intentional walks, and 5 RBI.

We called up the Camello brothers from the Single A Mariners to pitch, and they shut down South Hills, both of them had a hit as well. If the Mariners ever fold, they would look good in green and gold.

Ducks Shortstop Tony Casale almost completed and an Ozzie Smith-esque diving stop/barrel roll throw for a put out, but the Devils runner beat out the throw by a step. The Casale brothers turned a sweet double play up the middle. Lots of brothers in this game. It would have been great if Chuck showed up. John Zuzak, drove in a run with a bases loaded walk in the fourth, and added an RBI single in the fifth.

Joe Graff played an inning at shortstop, and an inning at third base. He has played every position this season. Matt Swetz went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.

South Oakland’s next game is Sunday,12pm at Herschel Park vs. the Eagles

quack

 

Ducks Tie Oilers. Scooter Retained.

2017 South Oakland Ducks, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-4-1) played the hebrew Oilers (6-4-1) to a time-shortened 6-6 tie in Brookline Friday night.

South Oakland jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Oilers fought back to take a five run lead thanks to a four-run third inning.

The Ducks scored one in the fourth, and two in the fifth to tie the game, before the BIG OIL scored in the bottom of the fifth on a sac fly to take a 6-5 lead. South Oakland scored a run in the top of the sixth to pull even, but stranded the bases loaded in the top of the seventh.

Tony Casale made a diving catch on a line drive and doubled off the runner at first in the bottom of the seventh, and relief pitcher Andy Nichols struck out the Oilers catcher to end the game.

Some stats

Dover 2-2, 2 2B, SF, 2 RBI, SB

Gwin 3-4, SB, RBI, 2R

Casale, 1-3, BB, SB, R

Police, 2-4, SF, RBI, SB

C. Zuzak 1-1, BB, R

Morgan, 2 BB

South Oakland plays next on Tuesday night vs. the South Hills Devils, 8:30pm at Herschel Park.

quack

How is this team six and three?* Ducks 10, Bandidos 9

Ducks WIn, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Mark Lombardi and DJ Dover hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning, and Ducks starter Ben Sorosky (W, 3-0) scattered seven hits over six innings to propel the South Oakland Ducks of the North Side to a come from behind, 10-9 win over the Bakery Square Bandidos (6-4) in Spring Hill last night.

With the victory, the Ducks (7-3) pulled within a half game of the Oilers (6-2) for second place.

The Bandidos took a 5-0 lead in the first, but the Ducks answered with four in the bottom of the second. Koshzow singled, John Zuzak doubled off the wall, then Gwin singled in two after the Bandidos right fielder fell down. With two out, Lombardi doubled and then Dover drove in two more with a line drive single to left.

Both teams scored a run in the third to make the score 6-5 ‘didos.

Koshzow singled in two in the fourth to give the Ducks a one-run lead. Then the Bandidos scored two in the fifth to go up 8-7, and Ducks outfielder Bryan Chvarak tore his quad.

In the bottom of the inning, Bryan Chvarek singled, hobbled to first, and was almost thrown out from center field. Two batters later, Lombardi hit a two-run home run to left, and Dover followed with a solo home run to give the Ducks a 10-8 lead.

Ducks reliever, Chris Heisler allowed one run in the seventh, but recorded the save after pulling his hamstring and striking out the last batter of the game.

South Oakland’s next game is Tuesday 6:45pm, at Mellon Park vs. Hebrew Oilers

Gutsy win. With a couple late no-shows, and a bunch of guys on vacation, we scored a lot of runs.

Great effort from Sorosky when he didn’t have his best stuff.

I think everyone in our lineup recorded a hit.

Not the best umpiring.

*The quote in the title was in reference to the Ducks, said by one of our players after one of the many errors we made last night. Both teams were 6-3 going into the game. The Bandidos are solid guys, and I don’t want them to think that was a disparaging remark directed at their franchise. Here’s hoping they can keep the same name, and group of core players for two consecutive seasons.

7-3 is our best start in years.

quack