Ducks vs Wolfpack was rained out last Saturday. It also looks like a scene from Annihilation on the infield out in Shaler.
South Oakland plays next on Wednesday at home vs. the Bandidos.
South Oakland (0-1) dropped their opener 9-7 to the South Side Eagles (1-1) last night at Springview Field.
The Ducks allowed 5 unearned runs in the first three innings. The Ducks trailed 5-0 going into the fourth before scoring 4 on a bases loaded walk by Lombardi and a two-out three run triple by Clark.
South Oakland rallied and took a 7-6 on a John Zuzak single, and lead in the bottom of the seventh. But again the team committed costly errors, and there were also some walks. Our reliever almost worked out of a bases loaded no-out jam, but a double play ball with one out was misplayed that could have ended the game and then there was a viscous hop on a grounder to first that scored two runs, and hit our first baseman in the neck, I think.
South Oakland opens its the season tonight at the Duck Pond vs the winless South Side Eagles. I think there are six teams that have a legit chance to win the title this season, including the Eagles and Ducks. South Oakland will start last year’s workhorse, Randy Patton who earned the victory over the Eagles in the playoffs last year. The Eagles will have their full pitching staff at their disposal after a week off between their opening day loss to BIG OIL. It should be a good game.
It’s the tenth anniversary of the Ducks blog. I’m a novelist and professional writer, and I’ve been giving this content away for a decade. Thank you to the five of you who still read it. I’ll feature some greatest hits from the blog this season.
This will be the Ducks seventeenth season in the Pittsburgh NABA. The Eagles were an early expansion team, starting in 2005 when Whittaker and Jesse Jones starred for them. South Side used to beat us even though they had a lefty shortstop for a while there. South Oakland’s best lefty shortstop was Rob Swanger, who played the position for a few games in the pre-TC Jones era of 2005-06. I wish Rob would’ve been able to stick around for the revival. He wanted to win as much as anyone.
Above is Ray Finkle and the Rebels winning the ’07 title, lead by Jesse Jones, former Eagle. That Rebels team also had Matt Daulton, the first former minor leaguer in league history, I believe. They were an off-shoot of the Black Sox, one of several Black Sox splinter groups that formed over the years. Ex Sock, Dan Stell, who maybe hates me, played on that team. He left when they folded to join the Militia with Tremel. That Militia team featured a bunch of current Ducks.
Every off season, I look for pitching, and usually I just draft guys. This year we had a bunch of pitchers come our way, and how many of those guys pan out will likely dictate how our season goes. I think they are all high floor high ceiling guys, compared to the one kid who blew his arm out in his first outing in 2015, effectively ending that season and forcing Doc to pitch pretty much every game. That season the Eagles knocked us out of the playoffs. Never turn away pitching.
We also needed to get younger.
So we added a few arms that will hopefully hold up and a couple guys from the Express, another Black Sox off-shoot that folded last season. We will see how it all plays out.
Since the end of the first Fago era, I’ve tried to strike a balance between doing as much as I can to make the team better vs. fucking over guys who have been here for years. The best way to strike a balance was to bring back an old friend who played in South Oakland for years, and will make us better. Here’s to the second Fago era in South Oakland.
Bad News for the Eagles
We’re coming up on our sixteenth season. Last year we finished in third place after a deep playoff run that came up short. South Oakland fared well in the Capital City Classic last October, finishing with a record of 2-2, after advancing to the semis where we lost 17-14 to Steve’s Sports, basically the Cleveland equivalent of St. John’s. In his last game as a Duck, DJ Dover went 4-5, 3R HR, 2B, 5RBI. In what was a microcosm of Dover’s time in South Oakland, we hit well enough to win, and ran out of pitching. Tony Casale and Tom Pulice also hit doubles in the game and played well over the weekend. Cody Quinn pitched five scoreless innings on the first day of the tournament to help us advance. It was fun.
Our offseason started with losing the 2017 MVP
Dover showed up every game ready to play. He drove from Erie the last 2 seasons. Over the last decade and a half, I’ve come to value dependability as much as talent. There’s nothing worse than scrambling for guys the day before a game. Having a core group who can make almost all of the games, and at least give me a heads up in advance if they’re going to miss a game makes a huge difference. When the most dependable guys are also some of your best players, it’s even better. Thank you, DJ.
The offseason continued with Ducks catcher, Tom Pulice, winning the 2018 MVP Award. Congrats, Tom. Well deserved.
We also added the 2008 MVP, James Fago. His addition lead me to update a photoshop (below) for the first time in years.
After a couple seasons with the Black Sox and another year soul searching in New York, Fago will return to the Ducks for the 2019 season. So will his brother, Colton. After a summer off, they should be well rested and ready help bolster the pitching staff and lineup.
We’ve also been in talks with Tom’s friend Steve. He’s supposed to come pitch for us after a strong showing in Columbus which included vomiting outside an abandoned gas station on the ride home.
The rest of our starters are returning. We will once again roster a veteran team. If our pitching works out, we should be competitive.
That’s about it so far. Winter meetings usually start the week before the Super Bowl.
I’ve also changed the pond of retired numbers to a ring of honor, since we don’t really retire numbers.
After defeating the Carrick Express 7-2 last Sunday, the Ducks travel to Moon Park tonight to take on the third-seeded Eagles for a chance to advance to the loser’s bracket semifinals.
South Oakland won the season series 2-0, but they also swept the Oilers this season, who knocked off the Ducks in the opening round of the playoffs.
I think the Eagles were missing some guys the first couple times we played them. This should be a tough game between two good teams.
Win or go home. This is an exciting time of year. Hopefully our run will continue with a win tonight.
Bad News for the Eagles
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.
South Oakland looks to avenge an early season loss to the Express tonight in Carrick, and continue on its recent hot streak. The Ducks have won three straight and four of the last five. Carrick has fallen off a bit after a hot start and has dealt with unfortunate scheduling/permit issues over the last month or so. They’ve only played 16 games with seven days left in the regular season.
A Ducks win will set up a showdown with the Bandidos on Tuesday that could possibly be for the third seed and a first round bye. The Ducks control their own destiny thanks to tie-breakers over the Oilers, Eagles, D2, Bauerstown, and a win over the Bandidos early in the season. Bauerstown losing one of its last two games would also help.
But none of that matters without a win tonight. These late season games are exciting, we’ve done a good job to get some wins over good teams and we will need another one against Carrick.
Bad News for the Express
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.
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.
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
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