South Oakland Ducks of the North Side
The Ducks look to right the ship when they take on the Grizzlies tonight in Munhall.
We need a win to secure a spot in the top six and avoid the play-in games. I think our magic number is 2. The Eagles and D2 both have 12 losses, and we are at 11 wins if we count our never rescheduled game from April against West View as a win. Both those teams have the tie-breaker over us.
Somehow we’ve lost 4 games combined to two six-win teams. Add that to a few other close losses this year, and I can’t tell if we’re lucky to have ten wins, or if we should have fifteen right now. I don’t think we’ve really hit well yet, but we’re running out of time for our luck to change.
We finish with five games against four teams ahead of us in the standings, and one more against D2 who we can’t seem to beat this season. The Grizzlies won like twelve in a row at one point, and with Cranberry’s magical season, everyone else has basically been playing for third place all year unless someone collapses. But we want to be playing well heading into the postseason, and tonight against a tough team will be a good gage to see where we are at. I like our chances at home.
Bad news for the Grizzlies
South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (10-7)
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
South Oakland swept the season series with the Devils behind Mullen’s two-run triple last night in Munhall.
The Ducks scored in the first on Derek Clark’s RBI single, and then Matt Mullen followed singles by Sorosky and Morgan with a triple to right. Matt Muslin singled home Mullen two batters later to give the Ducks a four run lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Randy Patton (W,4-2) scattered six hits through five innings, allowing one run before the bullpen took over and held off a late Devils rally. Patton also picked off a runner at first.
- The Ducks made two errors in the game, but both were followed by inning ending double plays
- South Oakland turned a 5-2-3 double play to get out of a jam, and then in the third, a 6-3 double play to get out of a first and third situation
- Tom Pulice picked off a runner at third
- Several good plays by Maldonado at second who left with a lower body injury in the sixth
- Sorosky is five for his last five, and probably leads the team in avg. now
- Big win to get the tie breaker with South Hills
South Oakland’s next game is Sunday 8pm vs West View until we hear otherwise.
South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (7-7)
South Hills Devils (9-8)
The Ducks and the Devils will try to separate from the middle of the pack in a matchup full of playoff implications, tonight in Munhall. South Hills looks to avenge an early season 8-1 loss to the Ducks. Tonight’s game figures to be a much closer contest.
A win tonight, and our upcoming forfeit victory against West View and suddenly we could find ourselves on a three game winning streak. So it’d be a 2-for-1 tonight if we can beat the Devils at home.
Bad news for South Hills
South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (6-7)
Pittsburgh D2 (4-8)
South Oakland will try to get back to .500 tonight in Elliot. The Ducks have lost the last three games by a total of five runs. South Oakland lost 4-0 to D2 the last time the teams met.
We’ve been shutout three times this season, but our pitchers have also thrown two shutouts. The goal now is to finish in the top six, avoid the play in games, and get our offense in a better place for the playoffs. You don’t want to peak too early.
Some combination of Fagos will throw tonight. Maybe 55, will give us an inning.
Bad news for D2
South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (6-6)
Cranberry Crusaders (8-1)
South Oakland looks to even the season series against Cranberry tonight in Munhall, and keep their slim hopes for a first round bye alive. The Ducks dropped the last meeting between the two teams 5-4 in 8 innings.
Cranberry is winning a lot this season. If all the previous years’ standings and hadn’t been lost in the site migration, I’d look at the variance in runs for and allowed and try to figure out if this season is lucky or based on overall improvement.
In a relatively short season, streaks are obviously even bigger. A team can play over its head for a month and never see a true regression to the mean. Throw in a couple good pitchers and you can run away with it.
At 6-6 we are underachieving, and have only scored about 4 runs per game. On the plus side we’re allowing 3.5 runs a game, and any other year that would probably be good for a couple more wins at this point. We’ve had bad luck with runners in scoring position.
Our team is going to start hitting or we won’t. I think we’re due.
Bad news for Cranberry
South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (6-5)
Sheraden Jays (6-3)
South Oakland looks to take the season series from Sheraden tonight in Munhall as the teams meet for the second time in a week. The Ducks won last Wednesday’s game 5-2.
The Ducks sit in fifth place, a game behind Sheraden. A win tonight will keep the team in the hunt for a bye.
We should have most of our starters tonight, and Colton is going to pitch again after recording nine strikeouts against the Jays last Wednesday.
Bad News for the Jays
South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (3-2)
South Hills Devils (4-2)
South Oakland looks to get back on track after a tough loss to the Grizzlies when they travel to Elliot to take on the Devils. This is a rematch of last year’s epic 10-inning loser’s bracket semifinal that basically assured neither team would be rested or have enough pitching to advance to the finals.
Devil’s manager, Rich Rodi will likely deploy the neutral zone trap, in an attempt to stifle the Ducks breakout.
It will be the Devil’s third game in two days, band both teams figure to be short handed due to the holiday weekend. I’m excited to play a day game. 9pm on a weekday feels a lot later than it did ten years ago. Anyway…
Both teams have championship aspirations, and both teams are currently chasing the Grizzlies (4-0) and Oilers (6-2) in the standings. It should be a closely contested affair.
Bad News for the Devils
South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (3-1)
Bauerstown Grizzlies (3-0)
The Ducks can take sole possession of first place with a win at home tonight against the undefeated Grizzlies.
Bauerstown picked up a catcher/pitcher from Pitt Johnstown who’s hitting .800, throws 95 mph, runs a 5.8, 60 yard dash, and hits 500 foot home runs. I hear he also has a solid low post game.
The Grizzlies have some solid guys and are young. They swept the Bandidos over the weekend, and beat the Devils to open the season. They are scoring 8 runs a game. Last season, they eliminated us from the playoffs in the losers bracket final, after our exhausting, ten-inning win against the Devils. Historically, we play these guys close, including a tie a couple years ago. In that game Lonnie threw out the go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the seventh. This game will probably also be close.
A win tonight will go a long way towards keeping us out of the losers bracket in this year’s playoffs. This will be another good test for us. I like our chances at home.
Bad News for the Grizzlies
Mark Lombardi hit a second inning, 2-run home run to give the Ducks an early lead they wouldn’t relinquish, as South Oakland (3-1) held off the Oilers by a score of 6-4 last night in Spring Hill. Lombardi also threw out a runner at home on a 7-2 double play, and scored on an infield hit later in the game.
Before the game, both teams provided the IDs of all players involved, and after lengthy debate and cross-referencing, all players were deemed legal. However, that piping on Dave Winfield’s pants looks so good it should be outlawed.
Ducks starter, Cody Quinn (W, 1-0) went four inning for the victory, allowing one run on a solo home run by Witer Jimenez in the first. Quinn worked out of a bases loaded, one-out jam in the second and cruised the rest of the way. Ducks reliever, Steve Bielefeld allowed one run in the fifth, and Smiley pitched a perfect sixth. James Fago recorded his second save of the season, entering the seventh with the bases loaded and no outs. Fago struck out some guy, walked someone, then struck Jimenez out. The Oiler’s first baseman grounded out to end the game with the go-ahead run on first.
South Oakland has won three straight to pull within a half game of the first place Oilers (4-1).
- The Oilers left the bases loaded in the second, fifth and seventh innings.
- Brandt, Clark, Patton and Lombardi had RBI for South Oakland
- Pulice and Clark hit doubles
- Overall, another solid outing from the bullpen
- The defense was also solid, I think we had an error-free game
The Ducks play next against the Sheraden Jays, Sunday, 3pm at Chartiers Field.