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

 

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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

 

Gameday 16: Ducks vs WOLFPACK!!!

2017 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-4-1)

vs

West View Wolfpack (6-5)

9pm

Springview Field

South Oakland of the Northside looks to extend its unbeaten streak to four games when the team hosts rival West View tonight at the Duck Pond.

West View fell victim to the 6pm weekday start time and dropped one to D2 yesterday.  The Wolfpack’s run differential suggests they should probably have a couple more wins than they do. We always play these guys tough at home. Judging by the 12 runs they allowed to D2, they should have pitching ready to go.

Making his first start for the Ducks tonight will be pitcher Mike Annerino, a man who believes in strikes.

Bad News for the Wolfpack

 

 

Ducks Win Two Straight, Set Up Rivalry Game Showdown with Oilers on Friday

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

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-4) defeated Pittsburgh D2, 5-1 in Banksville on Tuesday, and notched a wild come-from-behind, 7-6 victory over the Carrick Express at Spring Hill last night.

The wins move South Oakland into sole possession of second place behind the 9-1 South Side Eagles.

Re-enactment of Mike Koshzow’s triple last night in Spring Hill

On Monday South Oakland got a gem from starter Chuck Zuzak, (W, 2-1) who threw five shutout innings. Reliever Mike Annerino took over in the sixth, and allowed one unearned run on a throwing error after what appeared to be a game-ending pickoff play in the seventh.

Zuzak worked out of a bases loaded, one-out jam in the first with a double play ball, and D2 didn’t really threaten after that. South Oakland scored two in the fourth, and added three insurance runs in the sixth.

Morgan, Dover, Pulice, Gwin and Moore had RBI for the Ducks. Casale had two hits, and is on fire since his return from the DL. Maldonado kept the Ducks’ spirits up with lots of chatter and clapping, which may have rattled the D2 starter, and somehow did not lead to a D2 throwing at him.

Wednesday’s game vs. Carrick was vintage Pittsburgh NABA. I left after trading a page of our score book for a cigarette from one of the Express players. The game itself featured questionable umpiring, ejections, multiple three-run home runs, and several lead changes.

Opportunity for alternate Express unis

Carrick jumped out to an early lead off Ducks starter Ben Sorosky, but after a four run first, Sorosky settled in, and went four innings without allowing another run. Some guy on Carrick hit a three run homer with two outs in the opening frame. Carrick was up 4-0 after one.

The Ducks battled back. Mike Koshzow hit an opposite field, three-run home run, and added an acrobatic triple later in the game.

Carrick took a 5-4 lead in the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth, pinch hitter Chris Heisler delivered a game tying RBI double, and Andy Nichols drove in what proved to be the game winning run with a two out, two-run double later in the inning off John Smiley’s kid, who was traded to the Reds for prospects after the game.

Jon Moore entered the game and tomb stoned the Express for the four out save.

Doc pitched 1 and 2/3 in the fifth and sixth, and earned the win, I think.

By all accounts, the plate ump had a rough night. Two guys were tossed in the bottom of the seventh for arguing balls and strikes. Carrick’s manager was pissed.

Ducks outfielder Brian Strom improves his 2017 managerial record to 1-1 and somehow got fourteen different Ducks into the game.

After a rough start to their season, the Express look rejuvenated. They are going to be a tough out in the playoffs. We play them once more in Carrick.

The Brendan Chartier Memorial Spring Hill Scooter Series continues Friday at 8:30 PM when the Ducks face the Hebrew Oilers (6-4) at historic Moore Park in Brookline.

quack.

 

 

 

I Heard Something Pop. Ducks 12, D2 9

2017 South Oakland Ducks

Ducks Catcher, Tom Pulice went 4 for 4 with two doubles and 3 RBI, and starting pitcher, Ben Sorosky (W, 2-0) gutted out four innings on the mound to lead South Oakland of the North Side (6-2) past Pittsburgh D2 (0-4) last night in Spring Hill.

D2 entered the game having gone scoreless in their first three contests. They scored their first run off Sorosky in the first on a bases loaded walk.

The Ducks took an 11-2 lead after four innings. Then D2 got to South Oakland’s middle relievers for five in the fifth, and two in the sixth before Brian Strom entered the game with the tying runs on second and third with  one out in the sixth. Strom struck out some guy and got Walking in Memphis to pop out to first to end the threat.

Ducks outfielder Lonnie Petril’s hamstring exploded on an infield single. Get well, Lonnie. (Let me know if you need me to erase this for workman’s comp purposes)

Dover drove in a run in the Ducks half of the inning.

Then in the seventh:

In the seventh, Ducks closer Jon Moore retired the side in order for his first save of the season.

Notes:

Big game by Strom in his first game back. Great catch against the wall with the bases loaded in the fourth, then worked out of a jam on the mound to get us to the seventh with the lead.

Offense looks pretty good through 8 games

Good fight by D2 to take advantage of some opportunities and get back into the game after being down early. I’m surprised they have not won yet.

From The Lawnmower Man IMDB page

A scientist performs experiments involving intelligence enhancing drugs and virtual reality on a simple-minded gardener. He puts the gardener on an extensive schedule of learning, and quickly he becomes brilliant. But at this point the gardener has a few ideas of his own on how the research should continue, and the scientist begins losing control of his experiments.

Tough four game stretch coming up: Dirty Birds (Bandidos) twice, then the Oilers and Eagles. We will get a good idea of where we are at relative to the rest of the league after these games.

South Oakland’s next game is this Sunday, 9:30AM at Mellon Park vs. the Dirty Birds.

Their website makes this blog look like garbage.

quack.