Ducks & Friends: South Oakland wins two in Capital City Tournament

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

Here’s the Bandidos blog preview. Solid work there as always.

Tournament Recap

Game 1:

The Ducks defeated the Detroit Giants 7-3 behind a 103-pitch, 10 strikeout complete game from pitcher Colin Dougherty (Bulldogs). The Ducks trailed 2-0 going into the bottom of the fifth when Culp drove in Tuomisto with an RBI single. In the sixth Detroit added an unearned run to make the score 3-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Ducks sent 8 men to the plate. Casale lead off with a double, Eric Friend was hit by a pitch and after ground balls to the right side by Dover and A. Ciccone (Oilers) the Ducks were within one. Tuomisto was hit by a pitch and Levire (Wolfpack) gave South Oakland the lead with a 2-run double to left.

After Dougherty struck out the side in the top of the seventh, the Ducks scored three more runs when Eric Friend (Bandidos) tripled home Gallagher (Bandidos), Dover doubled in Friend, and A. Ciccone singled home Dover.

Dougherty retired the last ten batters he faced, including one guy he picked off.

Game 2:

After driving across town, the Ducks faced Tri-Cities (Cleveland) in the second game of pool play, and won 8-6 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated.

South Oakland received another great performance on the mound, this time from the Bandidos ace, Ryan Gallagher. The Ducks scored six runs in the first two innings, chasing the opposing starter. G. Friend had an RBI hit-by-pitch in the second.

There was a sweet strike em out throw em out double play in the game by Gallagher, Leviere and Casale.

The Ducks scored two mote in the fifth on a Toumisto double and singles by Z. Ciccone (Oilers), Culp and Gwin.

Casey Thompson (Oilers) doubled later in the game.

Tri-Cities scored four in the bottom of the ninth, but South Oakland held on for the win.

Due to a last-minute cancellation by Chicago, the tournament only had 9 teams, so after all teams played two games on day 1, they were seeded 1-8 for a one-game elimination round before the semis.

The Ducks kept the game close through five, but a six run sixth, lead to an 11-1 loss to the host team Columbus Pirates.

We got screwed out of at least one game by the Chicago team dropping out, but if I pulled Gallagher after 8 in game 2, instead of trying to save pitching, maybe we don’t allow those 4 runs, and we would have been seeded 2nd going into Day 2, and faced Tri-Cities again instead of a stacked Pirates team with home field advantage.

Also of note, the only team that knew all the scores of all the teams was the Columbus coach who also ran the tournament. Someone has to put up a website for this thing.

The fields were fantastic. If Pittsburgh were to host a tournament, I don’t know where we’d even have games.

Overall, it was a fun experience and I plan on putting a team in again next year.

Thanks to everyone from other teams who filled out the roster. Especially the Ciccones and Friends for their recruiting efforts.

We represented our league well for all but one inning. Kind of like a Ducks game. Next year, we add a couple pieces, avoid that one inning and this tournament is winnable.

Tournament MVPs

Zach Ciccone: 7 for 10, 3 RBI, SB, R

Colin Dougherty: W, CG, 9 IP, 10 K, HBP

 

 

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Season Over: Express 7, Ducks 5

2017 South Oakland Ducks

We made one error, and made some phenomenal plays in the field, especially Jon Moore at third base and a couple nice double play turns. In the end we still allowed 7 runs, and couldn’t hit our way out of it. True to form, we had the go-ahead run at the plate when we ran out of gas.

Patton pitched a solid 5 innings, allowing 4 runs. We were up 3-1 going into the fifth, when the Express scored 3. Sorosky got nicked for 3 in the sixth on an error, a few bleeders and then a double down the line on a hanging changeup. Moore pitched a perfect seventh.

The Express hit well. The last time we had this pitching matchup between these two teams, we won 9-1. We were up 3-1 most of the game, but couldn’t break it open after a three-run first and Heineke (sp) settled in for Carrick. We couldn’t handle his splitter.

Five games over .500 was one of our best regular season records as a team. Since 2014, this team has been a lot of fun, and it’s always shitty when it ends short of a title, because we’ve been right there all but one of the last four years. This one hurts wore than any of the last few seasons.

We haven’t have a true ace who could take over a game and strike out fifteen guys since Fago left when the team split. All our pitchers are solid ground ball pitchers, but sometimes ground balls get through. Hats off to Carrick. As I’ve said before, they are definitely better than their regular season record indicates. They have the pitching depth to get through a series if they keep hitting. We got a shitty draw, and an underrated, overachieving team in our elimination game and some of that is just bad luck.

So we have Carrick vs. Bandidos on one side, and upstart D2 vs. the Eagles on the other side of the bracket. Not what most would have expected.

This was an emotional loss for myself, and a couple guys who have been around the league for a while. This might have been TJ Morgan’s last game, pending a potential move east, and if it was his last game, there will be a proper send off on the blog, and our first number retirement of a post-Fago era Duck.

Speaking of which, maybe the Black Sox will finally fold, and we can bring a few former Ducks back to the flock next season. Double A is pretty fun, guys, if you’re reading. Probably more fun than going 5-16, which is no knock on anyone.

I really thought we had a good shot at it this season, and for it to end after one playoff game stings. Next year it will be the same core guys who put up 156 runs in 23 games, with the same resilience, and hopefully just a few games better in the regular season so we can avoid the one and done situation.

I’ll have a brief season recap at some point and team awards in the next week or so.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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

 

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

 

Stall Tactics. Ducks 8, Bauerstown 7 (suspended, rain)

2017 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland tied the game on a John Zuzak single in the top of the sixth, then took an 8-7 lead on a bases loaded walk by Patton before the game was suspended due to rain, Sunday in Bauerstown.

The Ducks lead 4-1 going into the bottom of the third, then a couple errors, hit batsmen and singles by Bauerstown lead to five Grizzlies runs, and a 6-4 lead.

The teams traded runs in the fourth.

After leaving the bases loaded in the fifth, South Oakland scored three runs in the top of the sixth, and completed the half inning before the rain started, despite a questionable pitching change with two outs and the bases loaded, storm clouds on the horizon.

Mike Brandt took an intentional strike out in an attempt to finish the inning.

I dont’ know if it was even necessary at that point. I know if there’s a lead change in the half inning, the game is suspended. I’m not sure if it mattered that we finished our half. Regardless, selfless at bat by Brandt to swing at three in the dirt in order to move things along.

I assume we will complete the game before we start the next one, but it might just go unfinished.

Great effort by several Ducks who don’t normally start.

We came out flat but rallied late. Good effort overall.

It’s been a weird season with a rain-shortened opening day loss, a tie, and a suspended game already.

Some stats:

Morgan, 1-1, HBP, BB, 3RBI

J. Zuzak: 1-2, 2BB, RBI

Chavarek: 2-3, BB

Dover: 4-4, 2B, RBI, 2R

Police: 1-1 2B, 3BB, 2R

Graff: 0-0, 2BB, 2R

South Oakland’s next game is this Wednesday 9PM at Springview Field, vs. Cranberry

quack

 

 

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.

 

 

 

How is this team six and three?* Ducks 10, Bandidos 9

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

Mark Lombardi and DJ Dover hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning, and Ducks starter Ben Sorosky (W, 3-0) scattered seven hits over six innings to propel the South Oakland Ducks of the North Side to a come from behind, 10-9 win over the Bakery Square Bandidos (6-4) in Spring Hill last night.

With the victory, the Ducks (7-3) pulled within a half game of the Oilers (6-2) for second place.

The Bandidos took a 5-0 lead in the first, but the Ducks answered with four in the bottom of the second. Koshzow singled, John Zuzak doubled off the wall, then Gwin singled in two after the Bandidos right fielder fell down. With two out, Lombardi doubled and then Dover drove in two more with a line drive single to left.

Both teams scored a run in the third to make the score 6-5 ‘didos.

Koshzow singled in two in the fourth to give the Ducks a one-run lead. Then the Bandidos scored two in the fifth to go up 8-7, and Ducks outfielder Bryan Chvarak tore his quad.

In the bottom of the inning, Bryan Chvarek singled, hobbled to first, and was almost thrown out from center field. Two batters later, Lombardi hit a two-run home run to left, and Dover followed with a solo home run to give the Ducks a 10-8 lead.

Ducks reliever, Chris Heisler allowed one run in the seventh, but recorded the save after pulling his hamstring and striking out the last batter of the game.

South Oakland’s next game is Tuesday 6:45pm, at Mellon Park vs. Hebrew Oilers

Gutsy win. With a couple late no-shows, and a bunch of guys on vacation, we scored a lot of runs.

Great effort from Sorosky when he didn’t have his best stuff.

I think everyone in our lineup recorded a hit.

Not the best umpiring.

*The quote in the title was in reference to the Ducks, said by one of our players after one of the many errors we made last night. Both teams were 6-3 going into the game. The Bandidos are solid guys, and I don’t want them to think that was a disparaging remark directed at their franchise. Here’s hoping they can keep the same name, and group of core players for two consecutive seasons.

7-3 is our best start in years.

quack

 

 

Gameday 7: Ducks at Sorcerers

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (4-2)

at

Wexford Sorcerers (0-0)

12pm

North Allegheny Intermediate High School

South Oakland looks to rebound after a tough loss to the Eagles when they take on Wexford today at noon.

Wexford hasn’t played a game yet, and they’re new to the league this year. Who knows what’s up with this team. I think they’re young. Their coach seems like a decent guy from the league meetings.

If you have the balls to name your team the Sorcerers, you’re either going to go undefeated, or be absolutely terrible. I don’t think there’s much of a middle ground in this regard.

Here’s what comes up when you google sorcerers baseball.

Lots of disney hats and a few girls softball teams. Also a picture of this game:

Who’s still got a Dreamcast? I remember this game for  Sega Genesis. Solid non-EA Sports baseball action. So thank you, Wexford, for allowing me to find this image. Sweet green helmet and batting gloves on that guy, love the two-stripe cleats that don’t violate the Adidas trademark.

Here’s a thirty minute video of this game on youtube:

Bad News for the Sorcerers