Ducks Sweep BIG OIL, Keep Fist Round Bye Hopes Alive

2018 South Oakland Ducks

Cody Quinn and Randy Patton lead South Oakland to back to back wins over the Hebrew Oilers. Quinn pitched a gem on Tuesday in East Liberty, going six innings and allowing one run. He worked out of trouble early, stranding the bases loaded, and striking out the side in the second. Patton pitched a scoreless seventh inning, in the Ducks 6-1 win. Tom Pulice hit a bases loaded double to give the Ducks some breathing room, and added an RBI single in the seventh.

Wednesday night in Spring Hill, Patton threw a complete game against his former team and the Ducks pulled away with a four run sixth inning to break a 4-4 tie. DJ Dover drew a bases loaded walk, and Paul Cucco hit a bases clearing triple. South Oakland went on to win 8-4.

Both games were close until the late innings.

South Oakland is now .5 games out of third for the final first round bye, and one back in the win column of the first place Eagles.

It’s going to be exciting down the stretch.

South Oakland’s next game is Saturday night at 8pm vs. Carrick at Volunteer Field. Hopefully the permit situation is worked out.

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Ducks Win. South Oakland 8, South Hills 5

2018 South Oakland Ducks

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side score seven runs in the first four innings, and coasted to an 8-5 win Thursday night in Munhall.

Randy Patton pitched six strong innings for the win, and Tom Pulice went 3-for-3 with 2 doubles, a walk and 3 RBI.

The Devils scored four unearned runs in the fifth to make things interesting after the Ducks had made defensive substitutions to get everyone playing time.

The Devils appear to have an almost entirely different roster from the first time the teams met.

Lonnie Petril went 0-0 with 2BB and 2 Runs

Ben Sorosky laid down a perfect sac bunt that lead to two runs.

The Ducks next game is 6pm Saturday at Sheraden.

I forget what I was supposed to title this blog post: Ducks Win. South Oakland 4, Cranberry 2

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

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (5-6) came back from a two-run deficit to defeat the Crusaders (4-4) by a score of 4-2 in Munhall last night. Starter Mike Longman (W, 1-0) scattered seven hits over five innings, and Andy Nichols pitched two scoreless innings for the save.

Cranberry scored two runs on a triple, a single and two errors to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth. The Ducks cut the lead in half after a triple by Dover and a sac fly by Lombardi.

South Oakland added two runs in the fifth on singles by Gwin, Zuzak and Maldonado.

Dover stole third and scored on throwing error in the sixth to give the Ducks some breathing room.

South Oakland plays next on Sunday night, 8:30pm at John Herb Field vs. West View

 

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.

 

Playoff Gameday 1: Ducks vs Express

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA

(3) South Oakland Ducks of the North Side

vs

(6) Carrick Express

3pm

Moon Park

South Oakland looks to advance to the semifinals with a win over Carrick today in Moon. The winner will play the winner of the Cranberry / Bandidos game at 5pm in game one of the semifinals.

Their game was supposed to be played on Saturday, but was probably rained out. Not sure how that rescheduling effort is gonna work out.

So far the #11 seed Devils have upset the #4 Oilers, the Express eliminated West View with a commanding 11-1 win, and Cranberry knocked out Wexford in a 3-1 thriller. On the other side of the bracket, Bauerstown and D2 were rained out.

This season has been long and full of rain, and weird games. I think we mostly played to our potential this year. A few frustrating losses.

Every off season, I talk with the coaching staff about what we need to do to get better, and how we can take the next step to win a championship while still keeping the core group together and not just cutting off the bottom third of our roster.

For a lot of years, it’s felt like I would make moves and add guys based on what it would’ve taken to win in the previous season, only to see the other teams make bigger moves, and we’ve mostly been one or two guys short.

Our lineup is fine, we have ten guys who hit over .300 this year, 13 with an OBP over .400. Dover is probably the league MVP this year, and any other year it would likely be Lombardi with the numbers he’s put up.

Pitching will be what decides this post season. Will he have the guys there to eat up the innings and throw strikes? Will we make the routine plays on defense, and not run into outs on the base paths?

Carrick is going to have momentum coming into this game and will be playing with a lot of confidence. It would be great to get out to an early lead.

All I can ask for as a player and a manager going into a season is a chance to be in every game, and to have a shot at winning a title. We are right there, we’ve been waiting for the playoffs all season, and we have a great opportunity to advance to the semis. This season has been a lot of fun, we have a great group of guys, and I am not ready for it to end.

Bad News for the Express

 

Gameday 23: Ducks at Eagles

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side

vs.

South Side Eagles

12pm

Herschel Park

South Oakland looks to win their third straight game today vs. South Side.

This game features the two best hitting teams in the league. This is also a matchup of potential MVP candidates as Dover (24) and Noonan (21) will vie for the RBI title. I know counting stats are somewhat meaningless, but both of those guys are on Hack Wilson-esque paces. Ducks outfielder Mark Lombardi is also in the MVP conversation along with a bunch of other Eagles. I need to start padding our stats more. We also should have league awards.

Here’s a link to a site some guy on Cranberry created. 

It has all the playoff probabilities for each team. I think it’s lagging behind the league site in games played, but it’s pretty great.

This season went fast, like it always does. Let’s play hard and enjoy this one before the playoffs get here and I start chain smoking and pacing in the dugout. Our record against the top four teams isn’t great (2-3-1), and we don’t want to get swept by these guys. A win today would do us some good going into the post-season, even if we are pretty much locked in to the 3 seed.

Bad News for the Eagles

 

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

 

Comeback Kids. Ducks 8, Grizzlies 6; Ducks 8, Grizzlies 8

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

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (11-5-2) came back from a six run deficit, scoring seven runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to beat the Vancouver Grizzlies last night in Spring Hill.

The Grizzlies starting pitcher was solid, and kept the Ducks off balance while Vancouver staked a 6-1 lead after five.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth, Dimas Maldonado hit a 2-run double, igniting the offense. Maldonado’s double was followed by four straight singles by Gwin, Dover, Lombardi and Pulice.

Here’s a recap of the game via NBA Hang Time for Sega.

Ducks starting pitcher, Mike Annerino gave South Oakland a strong start, allowing one earned run through four, and reliever Randy Patton had some bad luck on a tough hop on a grounder to third with two men on that lead to four runs in the fifth, but kept the Ducks in it.

Jon More recorded the save.

In the suspended game, some guy hit a cheap home run to tie the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. South Oakland’s left and center fielder were camped under the ball and watched it land just on the other side of the fence.

After the Ducks left a runner on third in the top of the seventh, Ben Sorosky entered the game and kept the Grizzlies off the board to secure the tie.

Play of the night was Ducks left-fielder Lonnie Petril throwing out the potential winning run at home to end the game. Going back to the rain-delayed first five innings of the game, the Ducks came back from an 8-5 deficit to tie the game.

Watch out for the Grizzlies in the playoffs they are better than their record might indicate. I bet Big Country is going to get in to five games before the post season to crush teams in the low post.

South Oakland is now in third place, half a game behind the Bandidos, and one game behind the Eagles, with one game in hand on Bakery Square and two big games vs. South Side left on the schedule.

We have a tentatively scheduled game vs. the Devils this Friday, 8:30 at Springview, but management is trying to reschedule the game.

Quack

 

Derailed. Ducks 9, Express 1

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

Brian Strom went 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI, and Randy Patton mowed through five innings to lead the South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (10-5-1) past the Express (7-8) last night in Carrick.

After the Ducks went down in order to start the first, the Express took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the second, Brian Strom hit a bases loaded double followed by Jon Moore’s RBI ground out to take a 3-1 lead.

The Ducks added a run in the fourth when Chuck Zuzak beat out a double play ball for an RBI fielder’s choice.

In the fifth, the Ducks broke it open. Casale singled and scored on Gwin’s double to right. Lombardi walked, Morgan beat out an infield single, before Pulice hit a scorcher that some guy threw away, plating two more runs.

7-1 Ducks after five.

South Oakland added a run in the sixth off Sorosky’s RBI fielder’s choice, and another run in the seventh when Lombardi doubled home Dover.

Then their pitcher appeared to throw at Lonnie for some reason. If this was 2009, it probably would have resulted in a shit show.

Chuck Zuzak pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh innings, striking out 3 batters.

We haven’t lost two in a row this season

Big team win after dropping last week’s game vs. last place Cranberry. Everyone contributed. We beat a great pitcher.

Bloomfield residents Strom, Gwin and Moore went a combined 7-for-10 with two doubles and four RBI

Other stats of note:

Lombardi: 3-3, BB, 2B, RBI, 3R

Mike Brandt: 0-0, HBP

Lonnie Petril: 0-1, HBP

The Ducks next game is Wednesday, at Spring Hill vs. Bauerstown. Time tbd, in case we finish the suspended game first.

quack

Gameday 17: Ducks at Express

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

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-5-1)

at

Carrick Express (7-7)

8pm

Volunteer Field

South Oakland of the North Side looks to rebound after a tough loss to Cranberry tonight in Carrick.

We always play like the walking dead against that team at least once a year.

Here’s a quick look at the standings, followed by some expert analysis that someone will undoubtedly take offense to and get me beaned.

Someone once told me good writing contains fractals, the way the narrative breaks apart naturally into threads and those threads move in an arc towards the conclusion.

Will 2 Dirty 2 Birds: Return of the Bandidos have such an arc, continuing to win titles before being forced to move up and break apart and buy new unis every other year? Will the teams with games in hand make them count? Will this blog ever have good writing, aside from Donnie’s guest posts?

Quick info  on the Bandidos motorcycle gang linked below. Interesting for the other team that plays in Bakery Square to be named after these guys.

Big missed opportunity for Eagles Sunday, day game unis

The Eagles stormed out of the gate before hitting a rough 0-4-1 stretch and returned to the pack a little. They have won two straight, I think. They’re still in first and still probably the team to beat. They hit the shit out of the ball.

The Oilers dropped one to Cranberry as well last week, and have likely been struggling to find consistent pitching aside from that lefty. This is all a guess. Perhaps we jumped the gin on their ringers coming in and shutting it down, but I’m sure that have something up their collective sleeve for the stretch run.

Bauerstown is overall pretty solid. We are hopefully going to finish our suspended game before starting our second game against them on Wednesday. That will be a big night for us if we can hold on to the win in the game in which we are up 1 in the bottom of the sixth, and potentially sweep that night. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

West View scuffling along at .500 is probably the biggest surprise of the season. Maybe teams aren’t as intimidated by the atmosphere at John Herb anymore. Who knows. It will be interesting to see if they get a bunch of rain outs rescheduled in time, and how that will effect the standings.

The Cranberry, D2, Wexford, Devils grouping is still good enough to sneak a game here and there form a top team. Should be an exciting stretch run.

The Express are still the Darkhorse to make a deep run this season. With the emotions of this likely being their last year under current management and their future in doubt they have extra motivation. Plus the pitching depth.

But they still have a long way to climb up the standings. Tonight, we can pull within a game of the Eagles, and keep pace the Bakery Square. We always give Carrick a good game. Four of the last five have been decided by one run. We need to hit tonight.

Smoking man seems fitting for this game.

Bad News for the Express