There’s Nothing Like a Night Game at Moore Park

Uncategorized

Ducks End Regular Season on High Note. Face Devils in First Round

Back in 2003 the Piranhas had this guy Gustavo Lopez (behind Boley, holding bat), and used to just kill us. He hit like seven home runs in that first year, and hit well over .500. We played out in Ambridge on a tiny field past Economy Park on the other side of rt. 65 across from Red Cap Dry Cleaners. During the regular season, Lopez hit towering home runs into the little league field beyond ours. We would walk him late in the game even if it put the tying run on base. He was cocky, and proved to be one of the leagues first great villains. He’s probably a good guy. I don’t really know him.

In 2003, we had a so-so regular season. We were mostly all happy to still be baseball again. The morning time slot 45 minutes away from Oakland did us no favors. Almost all of us were hungover, still, drunk or smoking weed to calm our nerves on the long ride to the games. We finished fourth out of five teams, and made a run in the post season to our first championship over the Piranhas.

Lopez was a non-factor in the championship. Playing at John Herb the rainbow arced home runs he hit at Ambridge turned to fly outs. When we made the move to wood bats, he hit .176. I have no idea what he’s doing now.

Ducks vs D2 Box Score

Piranhas vs Ducks Recap

South Oakland clinched the four seed behind a solid spot start from Ben Doak (W, 1-0), and clutch hitting from Mark Lombardi Wednesday night in Spring Hill. With the win, South Oakland took the season series from the feisty Piranhas who upset them earlier in the year. The Ducks will be the home team tonight at Moore Park in an elimination game against the Devils.

Playoff Gameday 1: Ducks vs Devils

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (13-11)

vs

South Hills Devils (13-11)

8:30 pm

Moore Park

Both South Hills and South Oakland started slow this year, lost a dominant pitcher, and still put together winning seasons. The Ducks and Devils both sit at 13-11. The Ducks own the tie breaker thanks to winning a tough season series in what many believe has become the premier rivalry of AA Pittsburgh NABA baseball. There’s not much to say here that would do this one justice. It’s been a great season, and it’s a shame one of these two teams has to go home early. Hopefully the Moore Park magic of seasons past is on our side.

Bad news for the Devils

 

 

Gameday 23 and Bandidos Recap

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks win, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland split a weekend set with the Bandidos, winning Friday’s game 5-2, and dropping Saturdays game 2-1. On the season, the Bandidos won the net runs by 1, and took two of three from the Ducks. They also won the negotiating rights of disgruntled, pitcher/outfielder Greg Friend who is set to become a restricted free agent after the season.

“Maybe after next year,” a source in the Ducks front office said. “We wish him the best.”

“Is this real?” Friend asked. “I wish I’d known about this before the game.”

Bandidos management was not available for comment.

Friend made a great catch in Friday’s game and converted the save on Sunday. 

 

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (12-10)

vs

Pittsburgh D2 (7-12-1)

9pm

Springview Field

Over the weekend, the Ducks clinched a non-losing record with their twelfth win. After a rough start, the team has rounded into form winning 9 of 12 down the stretch.

A win tonight would clinch the fourth seed and ensure a home game in the first round of the playoffs. We’d also stay mathematically alive for the three seed, depending on the outcome of the Cranberry (11-11-1) and South Side (13-9) game. A Ducks loss tonight keeps the six seed in play.

We want to stay hot heading into the meat grinder of an opening round next weekend and what looks to be an inevitable rematch with the new look South Hills Devils.

D2 has been a tough matchup for us historically. This one could go either way as both teams empty their bullpens, but we have a slight edge playing at home. Our record at the Duck Pond has been great this year. 

Bad news for D2

 

Gameday 16/Senators Recap

Uncategorized

Gameday 16:

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (8-7)

at

East Pittsburgh Piranhas (2-10)

8pm

Moore Park

South Oakland looks to extend its winning streak to six games against an improved Piranhas team tonight in Brookline. The Ducks won 15-0 against East Pittsburgh in the season opener. Tonight’s game should be a tougher test for the Ducks. The Piranhas beat second place Cranberry 3-2 in extra innings last week behind a solid pitching performance by Matt Gayda and Dustin Grabowski.

In 2003, the Piranhas rotation was lead by Lesher and Heckman. Heckman was an ass, but an effective hard throwing lefty. He was passed over for the start in the finals against the Ducks in favor of that guy from Waynesburg that we knocked around. He famously clashed with management in subsequent years.

Lesher was solid. Veteran move with the lawn chair.
Heckman is probably throwing at someone here

The Ducks and Piranhas had a solid rivalry in the inaugural NABA season. Craig Boley and Ben Gwin have not met in the playoffs since the league’s first year despite combining for close to 500 games played. The Ducks faded in the 2004 post season and had a few down years. By the time they were competitive again in 2008, the Warriors were at their peak but playing in the other division (At the time, we were split into Monongahela and Allegheny). I may have some details wrong. The death of the old website makes it hard to fact check.

The Ducks were on their way up, and the Warriors would start their decline. The leagues would split into A and AA, and the last chance for the franchises to meet in the post season ended when the Warriors forfeited in 2018 before a first round matchup with South Oakland.

Senators Recap:

Ducks 10, Senators 0

Matt Mullen (W, 1-0) threw a complete game, two-hit shutout as the Ducks rolled to their fifth straight win. South Oakland scored early and often in this one. TJ Morgan and Stef Blackstone are on a tear, leading a resurgent, opportunistic offense. With a few mid season acquisitions, and better attendance, South Oakland is playing like the team many considered a sleeper pick to make a run to the finals in the preseason. 

Realignment Watch 2021

This year we will keep track of how the Senators and BIG OIL fare after moving up a division.

screen-shot-2021-05-05-at-1.40.58-pm

BIG OIL has won two of its last three, and is holding its own in the middle of the AAA pack. 

  • Record: 5-9
  • Runs against: 73
  • Run differential: -29

The Senators have shown flashes this season, playing in some tight games and upsetting the top two teams in Cranberry and Bauerstown. 

  • Record: 2-11
  • Runs against: 119
  • Run differential: -92

So far it seems the Oilers are acclimating better to a higher level of play, but the Senators have yet to play two-win East Pittsburgh. Both the Oilers and Senators could play spoiler in the playoffs of their respective divisions.

razor-ramon

There’s nothing like a Thursday night at Moore Park. A win tonight puts us tied for third. NABA great Ben Sorosky is scheduled to start. The crafty veteran should keep us in the game until we can turn it over to the bullpen.

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

Bad news for the Piranhas

Gameday 10: Ducks vs. Grizzlies

2021 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (2-6)

vs

Bauerstown Grizzlies (9-1)

9pm

SpringView Field

South Oakland looks to right the ship tonight in Spring Hill against the first place Grizzlies. The forecast is calling for rain and playoff hockey tonight.

With over a third of the season in the books, the Ducks have not met expectations. There is no way around it. However the team can still make a run at the top five, and has the pitching depth to win a series if they can get that far. Hopefully attendance improves. Right now the Ducks need to win one game against a team they lost to on the last at-bat over the weekend. It should be another exciting matchup.

Realignment Watch 2021

This year we will keep track of how the Senators and BIG OIL fare after moving up a division.

Big news last week as the Senators slow-balled the Grizzlies to death in a 3-2 victory to hand Bauerstown it’s first loss.

Record: 1-5

Runs allowed: 65

Run differential: -52

The Hebrew Oilers are adapting well to life in AAA behind solid starting pitching and defense. BIG OIL has wins against 2019 champion Ohio Valley, 2018 champion West End, and the 2016 champion Bulldogs.

Record: 3-3

Runs allowed: 25

Run differential: -5

The East Pittsburgh Piranhas also won their first game of the season against a depleted Bakery Square team.

I will take this as a victory for Trafford over Shady Side. Bakery Square is probably the worst place in the state. Since I am friends with many Bandidos, I will assume that taking the Bk Sq title is an ironic commentary against gentrification. Also, that’s where there field is.

Still, they could have rebranded as the East Liberty Angels and used these amazing uniforms:

Greg Friend commented: “We went from being the Mon Valley Dirty Birds to repping Bakery Square, which isn’t even a real place. For the record, I was against the name change, but management never listens to me.”

We’re listening, Greg.

The league is wide open this year, but we need to start winning games. The vibe in the clubhouse remains mostly positive. It’s going to be a long summer if we don’t think we have a run in us. It’s never a bad day to start a winning streak, but we have to focus on one game.

I like our chances at home tonight. We may even have our middle infielders.

Bad News for the Grizzlies

Gameday 4: Ducks vs Cranberry

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (2-1)

vs

Cranberry (2-0-1)

9pm

Springview Field

After winning a nine-inning thriller vs South Hills on Monday, the Ducks can move into a tie for second with a win against Cranberry.

Devils Recap

Ducks 6, Devils 5 (9 inn.)

Bos Score

Billy Welsh (W, 1-1) allowed 5 hits and struck out 16 in nine innings of work. Welsh out dueled veteran Brandon Bouchard (L, 1-1) from South Hills who was lifted after surrendering 5 runs in the eighth.

South Oakland had eleven hits but couldn’t break the 1-1 tie until Mike Brandt singled home two in the ninth, followed by an RBI infield hit by Gwin that scored two runs. Lombardi added his second RBI of the game to put the Ducks ahead by five, and they would need the insurance runs. The Devils scored four in the ninth with the help of a couple walks and HBPs around singles by Rodi and Rush.

This game should have ended 2-1 in regulation. Ducks utility player/relief pitcher Ben Sorosky was safe by two steps at home on what should have ben an RBI fielders choice, but was called out to the surprise of everyone.

Cranberry

Here’s a link to the Cranberry blog. It would be great if their 8-3 extra innings win from last year wasn’t still in the “last game” section. Here’s some new art for future blogs, Andy:

Cranberry is historically a terrible matchup for us. Even in the pre-Stumpf era when they didn’t really have a short stop, and Andy’s dad was manager, we struggled to hit their pitching. We do better against pitchers who try to overpower us. This isn’t news. We need to find a way to beat them. Two years ago, they finished in first, and we were a half game behind them thanks to two one-run losses. Last year, they swept us, and if we had split that series, we might have avoided the Oilers in the semi-finals. If we had just split those games, all of which were one-run or extra inning games, we could have had a much easier draw in the playoffs.

Tonight should be a good test for both teams, if the last two years are any indication, it will come down to the last inning.

I like our chances in a tight game at home tonight.

Bad news for Cranberry

Gameday: 3 Ducks at Devils

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

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

at

South Hills Devils (1-4)

8:30pm

Herschel Park

After a rainy week, Ducks look to get back over .500 with a win against struggling rival South Hills. The Devils have had some bad luck early this year, but they are still a solid, experienced team that can score runs. Eventually the back luck will swing the other way, they have too many good players. Last year we split the season series and the run differential was even. It will be a close one tonight.

We need to keep wining games to stay in the top half of the standings. With the monsoon last week, there will be a backlog of games later in the year. We need to position ourselves for the stretch run before we start playing four games in ten days in June. We have the bullpen rested and most of our starters tonight.

Bad news for the Devils

Gameday 3: Ducks vs Grizzlies

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

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

vs

Bauerstown Grizzlies (5-0)

9pm

Springview Field

Weather permitting, the Ducks look to knock off the undefeated Grizzlies tonight in Spring Hill. Bauerstown has averaged ten runs a game while allowing three during its current winning streak. Also during the streak, the Grizzlies have comeback twice when trailing after six innings against the Bandidos and Devils respectively. It seems they have benefitted from their year off.

The Ducks send Billy Welsh (0-1) to the mound tonight to get the team back on track after a tough loss to the Eagles on Sunday.

Both Bauerstown teams are winning all their games this year, as the single A Turtles are in first place with a 5-0 record.

Realignment Watch 2021

This year we will keep track of how the Senators and BIG OIL fare after moving up a division.

The Senators are 0-2, losing both games by a combined 35-5, including a 20-0 opening day defeat at the hands of the Eagles.

The Oilers have not played a game yet.

The Grizzlies eliminated South Oakland from playoff contention the past two seasons. This is always a tough matchup for us, but I like our chances at home with Billy pitching in cold weather.

Bad news for the Grizzlies

Ducks Lose: South Oakland 2, South Side 3

2021 South Oakland Ducks, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Box Score

The Ducks (1-1) lost a heartbreaker in the West End this afternoon, dropping a close game to the Eagles (2-1) at Herschel Park.

The Eagles scored a run in the first off a HBP, and a double. Ducks starter, Randy Patton (0-0) settled down, scattering four more hits over five innings. The Eagles added their second run in the fifth when two Ducks collided in shallow center, leading to a two base error. The Eagles runner would later score on a single.

The Eagles starter was pulled after two effective innings due to arm trouble, but their relief pitcher was effective. He allowed two hits and worked out of trouble in the fifth thanks to a line out double play with the bases loaded.

The Ducks trailed 2-0 going into the seventh but tied the game on a walk, two hits and an RBI groundout to the right side that plated two runs.

The Eagles took advantage of another two-base, Ducks error when their leadoff batter advanced to second after an errant throw on a squibber to the infield. Their next batter hit a ground ball through the right side to win the game.

It’s tough to waste a good pitching performance, but at least we battled back to tie in the seventh. We had a few hard outs with guys on base. Overall, we played well but couldn’t hit their junk baller. This has been the recipe to beat us for a few years now. The Eagles haven’t looked this good since the days of Noonan, and I expect them to be in the mix this year.

The Ducks next game is Wednesday, 9pm vs Bauerstown at the Duck Pond.

The Ghost of Doug Ryba: Ducks 15, Piranhas 0 (3 inn.)

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks win, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball
pittsburgh naba, south oakland ducks, east pittsburgh piranhas,
Pittsburgh NABA legend, Dough Ryba, pictured above, was a member of the original Piranhas in 2003. Sponsored By Amica

South Oakland (1-0) defeated the expansion Piranhas (0-1) by a score of 15-0 in 3 innings last night in Spring Hill.

Ducks pitcher Brandon Blackstone (W, 1-0) pitched a complete game no-hitter. Two Piranhas reached via an error and a walk respectively.

The Ducks sent twelve batters to the plate in the first inning and scored six runs. They added five runs in the second, and four in the third, capped by TJ Morgan’s walk off, two-run single to right.

The commissioner stopped by, and gave us baseballs.

The win marks the ducks first shutout win since 2019, and the fourth no-hitter (Dickman (2), Tessier) in team history, be it abbreviated.

East Pittsburgh could have used Ryba’s bat in this one. Sounds like they were missing some guys, and should improve as the season goes on.

After blowing a seven run, third inning lead in Cranberry last opener, this was a much improved start.

We hit really well, and did a good job of staying patient at the plate. I don’t have the book in front of me, but if I recall correctly, Pulice, Rayl, and Morgan all had multi hit games. Pulice, Rayl, and Gwin hit doubles. Eleven different Ducks reached base at least once. I’ll link the box score when it’s updated, and make any corrections.

South Oakland will face the revamped South Side Eagles at Herschel Park, Sunday at 12 pm

Quack.

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