Ducks Win. South Oakland 7, Cranberry 3

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

Box score

Brandon Blackstone (W, 6-1) scattered 5 hits and walked 2 over six innings to lead the Ducks to their eleventh win of the season. South Oakland jumped ahead thanks to a five-run second inning. TJ Morgan drove in three runs with a single off the wall. Ben Doak hit what looked like a home run into the overhanging branches in right, but settled for a double. Mark Lombardi had two hits and two RBI for South Oakland. Stef Blackstone faced 4 batters in the seventh for the save (2).

The win is the Ducks first over Cranberry since 2018, snapping an eight (?) game losing streak that included multiple extra inning games and some heart breaking loses. Let this be the start of a new streak.

South Oakland has matched its win total (11) from last season with four games to play: 

  • Two vs the Bandidos are on the schedule with Sunday’s start time up in the air and Friday’s start time moved up 8pm.
  • The D2 game is tentatively scheduled for Monday night in Manchester but is subject to change pending a field upgrade.
  • The Piranhas have not yet confirmed a time and place for our makeup game with them.

We can finish as high as third and as low as sixth. 

 

The Ducks play next on Friday, 8pm at Mellon Park vs the Bandidos.

Quack.

Cranberry Gameday and Grizzlies Recap

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South Oakland (10-9) lost 3-1 to the Grizzlies (19-3) last night in Spring Hill. Bauerstown hit a solo home run in the top of the first, and never trailed. They scored on off a walk and another off a double. TJ Morgan had the lone RBI for South Oakland. The Grizzlies pitcher kept the Ducks off balance all night. Both teams worked out of jams. Walks were the difference in the game.

The Ducks host Cranberry tonight at Springview Field, 9pm. These two teams have been on different trajectories since their last game. Cranberry is 3-7 in their last 10, while the Ducks are 7-3. However, South Oakland hasn’t beaten Cranberry since 2018. The games are always maddeningly close, but the Ducks seem to come up short. Tonight we have Brandon Blackstone going, and Springview is in the best shape of its life. Tonight is a great night to break a long losing street.

Bad news for Cranberry

Gameday 16/Senators Recap

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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

Ducks Win: South Oakland 6, North Park 4 (9 inn.)

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

South Oakland abolished the filibuster, and held off a late obstructionist push by the Senators, winning a 6-4 thriller in extras yesterday in Homestead.

Ducks starter Randy Patton left with a 3-2 lead in the fifth. The Senators tied the game in the fifth and the seventh, but could not take the lead. The Ducks went ahead for good on a two-out, two run single by Gwin in the ninth. Brandon Blackstone got the win in relief, and recorded his first hit as a Duck.

  • Cody Quinn, TJ Morgan, Mike Brandt, and Kenny Rayl hit doubles.
  • Morgan is gunning for another batting title.
  • We were short handed, but our pitching staff did a great job.
  • The bullpen not only pitched well, but took advantage of getting some rare at bats.
  • I may be getting the innings wrong. It was hot. The Senators battled.
  • We really need guys to show up this week vs D2. These two games are huge. They are right in front of us in the standings.

The Ducks next game is Tuesday vs D2. 8:30pm at Herschel Park

Quack.

Gameday 12: Ducks at Senators

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (4-7)

at

North Park Senators (2-9)

3pm

Whitaker Field

The Ducks look to win the season series against the Senators today in Homestead. South Oakland has won two of its last three. A win today would put the team one game behind Pittsburgh D2 before a home and home series next week. With three games in five days, the Ducks chances to finish in the top 5 will become clearer this week.

Other games this weekend include a big series between the Eagles and Grizzlies, while Cranberry plays East Pittsburgh and Bakery Square on back to back days. It is the height of vacation season. Roster depth and flexibility will be paramount throughout June and heading into 4th of July weekend.

Image via Defector

The Senators are looking at this game as one they can sneak from a four-win team. We can’t take anything for granted. They stole one from Cranberry last week, and played us close for four innings before we pulled away last time. This is a game we have to win despite playing without several starters.

We’re short-handed, but we have enough pitching. I feel confident with Patton on the mound today.

Bad news for the Senators

Ducks Win: South Oakland 14, South Hills 13

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

South Oakland (4-8) came back from an early 2-1 deficit behind an 8-run fifth inning, and then held off a late rally by the Devils (3-8) to win a wild one in Spring Hill yesterday. Ducks starter Randy Patton (W, 2-1) pitched four strong innings before turning it over to the bullpen. The bullpen had mixed results.

The game was tied 4-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth. The umpires were bad, but just typically bad up to that point. Then it escalated. They missed some calls for the Devils pitcher in the fifth, and the Ducks took advantage when he had to put it down the middle. TJ Morgan hit one off the fence in right that was a foot from going out. We hit a couple doubles and wound up putting eight runs on the board. The plate ump started arguing back with the Devils.

The ump told us we didn’t deserve better umpires. This guy was calling pitches when they were halfway to the plate. I’ve never seen that before. He was out of position all game, and let the game get out of hand.

South Oakland led 12-4 after 5. Our reliever had one out and one on, and the plate ump missed called strike threes on consecutive batters that would have ended the inning. Instead those guys walked. Then there were more bad calls and we walked in two runs. There was a double that cleared the bases, then a 2-run home run. The Devils put up 7 on three hits in the inning.

The Ducks added two in the bottom of the inning to take a three-run lead into the seventh.

Then the ump made more bad calls, tried to issue a warning, and he threatened to leave. He said he should give us $5 back and quit. He told one guy that if he wanted good umpires it would cost $300. One great line was, “Why don’t you get some grandma to stand behind the fence and call balls and strikes.”

It was ridiculous.

The Devils scored two runs in the seventh before Hoffman came in to close the game for South Oakland, stranding the tying run on second.

  • The Devils new uniforms are pretty nice
  • If our record was better, Stef Blackstone would be the hands down AA MVP this year. If we finish strong, he should win it.
  • TJ Morgan is having an incredible season at the plate
  • If there was ever a loss that could give a team momentum, it was yesterday’s for the Devils. They battled.
  • It would have been a devastating loss for us after we finally put together a big inning against a quality starting pitcher. This was a big win for us.
  • The umps really spoiled what was an important game in the standing for both teams. I don’t understand why some umps what to make the games about them. The other extreme is they are totally checked out sometimes and won’t even make fair/foul calls. Just be as consistent as possible, and try to get in position to make the right calls. That’s all anyone can ask for.

South Oakland plays next on Wednesday night, 9pm at Springview Field vs the Bandidos.

Quack.

Playoff Gameday 1: Ducks at Devils

2020 South Oakland Ducks

(5) South Oakland Ducks of the North Side

at

(4) South Hills Devils

8:30pm

Herschel Park

Projected Starters:

Ducks: Welsh

Devils: Brodeur

The Ducks travel to Elliot to take on the defending champs in tonight’s first round matchup. The winner advances to play BIG OIL in the semifinals tomorrow night. South Oakland and the Devils split their season series, and finished even in net runs. The Ducks won 14-8 and 6-2, and lost 7-1 and 5-1. Twenty-two runs for and 22 against. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs, the game went ten innings. This appears to be an even matchup.

The other side of the bracket has the Bandidos and Eagles playing tonight with the winner taking on Cranberry in the semifinals. Andy has a preview on their site. Solid work as always. Andy also put a lot of work into our all decade teams, and scraping our league’s all-time stats from the defunct NABA site.

Here’s the AA team.

The Ducks are well represented. We’ve had some great players on this team. I’m fortunate to have played with and against a lot of ball players far more talented than I am over the last 17 years.Other Ducks who made it are Kenny Rayl who was named all decade in AAA for his time on the Black Sox. Ciccone spent most of the decade with the Oilers, but played on South Oakland from 2013-2014. Bandido/Dirty Birds Eddinger, Friend, and Gallagher played with us in Columbus so they’ve logged almost a dozen games as Ducks. Graff played with us for most of the decade.

2014 South Oakland Ducks

It’s been a tough season for a lot of obvious non-baseball reasons. I have a hard time getting too upset about underachieving this year when it’s amazing we were able to play at all. Still, there’s little solace in losing just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

I think every team in the tournament can make a run. We have a tough draw, but there’s still a path for us. We certainly didn’t peak too early this year.

We have Billy going tonight, and I don’t think we’re missing any starters.

Bad News for the Devils

Ducks Win: South Oakland 3, Oilers 1

2020 South Oakland Ducks

Ducks catcher, Tom Pulice hit a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to give South Oakland (5-5) the win last night in Spring Hill. Brandon Blackstone (W, 1-3) pitched a complete game for the Ducks.

Mike Brandt drove in a run in the third inning with an RBI single down the line in left to give South Oakland the lead. The Oilers (4-2) tied the game in the fourth. Liam singled to start the bottom of the seventh. After a correctly called intentional drop on a line out to short, and a strikeout, Pulice hit the game-winner. The 2018 MVP’s first home run as a Duck.

With the win, South Oakland evened their season series with the BIG OIL. These were two good games. The teams appear to be evenly matched.

At the halfway point of the season, South Oakland sits at 5-5. One game out of first,  tied for third with Cranberry who swept the Ducks this season, and a half-game behind the Bandidos who the Ducks swept. The Devils and Oilers are tied for first. It’s shaping up to be an exciting finish in AA.

The Ducks open a two-game series against Cranberry on Monday, 9pm at Springview Field.

Quack.

 

Gameday 9: Ducks at Oilers

2020 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

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

at

Hebrew Oilers (3-1)

7:30pm

Moore Park

Probable Starters:

BIG OIL: Pearson

Ducks: Welsh

South Oakland travels to historic Moore Park to play the Hebrew Oilers tonight. This is our first game played under “yellow” conditions. If I did anything right as manager, it was quitting before this season. What a mess. The last game between these two teams played at Moore Park ended in a 6-6 tie. It was so long ago, I still had enough of an arm to throw out a runner. Those were the days. Outfield assists and no pandemic.

BIG OIL lost to Cranberry 13-3 on Sunday, but they only had eight guys. We’ve had a good rotating cast of villains in this league (including the Ducks) and our share of rivalries. The Oilers are right up there in both categories.

They have always beaten us when it matters, though, and as evenly matched as we’ve been over the years, they have a title and another finals appearance under their belt. Both years they beat us in the playoffs after we beat them in the regular season. This is kind of how it was with us and the Black Sox for years. We could never get passed them until we brought in Fago the first time. Since 2010, we’ve made most of our personnel additions from within the league. Usually when teams fold (Hurricanes, Owlz, Militia, Bulldogs and most recently the Black Sox) or their manager pisses off a bunch of players like the Bulldogs. Longevity has benefitted us in this regard. The Oilers don’t add many guys from within the league.

This is a big series for both teams.

We have a few former Black Sox who will feel at home in Brookline tonight. Hopefully that gives us the edge we need.

Bad News for the Oilers

Ducks Win: South Oakland 6, South Hills 1

2020 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks win, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Box Score

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (4-4) took advantage of a six-run fourth inning and a solid start from Randy Patton (W, 2-0) to beat the Devils (4-3) last night in Spring Hill. Matt Schmidt pitched 2/3 inning for the save (1) in his first appearance as a Duck.

TJ Morgan had 2RBI for South Oakland to put the game out of reach.

The Devils and Ducks split their two game series. Each team won 6-1 at home.

Early season scoreboard anomalies in AA

We’ve won two extra inning games by three runs, beating the Eagles 7-4 (9 inn.) and the Bandidos 6-3 (8 inn.).

The Eagles have lost 2 extra inning games this season. Losing in 9 to the Ducks and the Oilers.

The Oilers (3-0) won their first two games on their last at bat. Walk-off wins against the Devils and the Eagles. They beat Cranberry by 6.

South Oakland opens a two game series with undefeated BIG OIL next Tuesday. Time and location tbd. We might play at historic Moore Park. That would be fun.

quack