Gameday 11: Ducks vs Cranberry

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

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

vs

Cranberry Crusaders (5-5)

9pm

Springview Field

Probable Starters:

Cranberry: Germani (1-1, 12 K, ERA: 3.13)

Ducks: Welsh (1-1, 26 K, ERA: 2.95)

The Ducks open a two-game series against Cranberry tonight in Spring Hill. South Oakland needs a win to keep within striking distance of what is shaping up to be an exciting pennant race.

If you haven’t already, go vote for Player of the Decade at Cranberry’s blog. Andy does good work over there. He was an actual journalist once.

Everyone is really even this year. The Eagles have lost a couple tough games, too, or it could be even tighter.

It will be interesting to see how the first place Oilers fare when they get a bunch of games in a week. How they handle their games in hand will determine a lot. So far they’ve only lost to us and Cranberry.

Bandidos and Devils played a scorcher last night. At the halfway point of the season, Bandidos CF, Eric Friend is making a strong case for Double A MVP. He’s putting up Dustin Winston type numbers.

2020 has had an old school PGH NABA feel to it. Maybe I’m just overly nostalgic and more appreciative of this season after being stuck in my house all spring. There are all-time stats floating around, and  all-decade teams. Moore Park is back in the rotation, the Carrick’s ace took a couple teammates to the Devils, and the heart and soul of the Black Sox is playing in South Oakland. All the games feel more important. I think there’s a different vibe this season. I hope we all get through it safely.

We need to make a pushThis two game series against Cranberry is big, especially if it comes down to tie-breakers at the end of the year.

We always play well at the Duck Pond. Springview is in the best shape of her life.

Bad News for the Crusaders

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

Ducks Win: South Oakland 6, Bakery Square 3 (8 inn.)

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

Box Score

The South Oakland Ducks of the Northside won their third straight game Sunday in Spring Hill. Billy Welsh (W, 1-0) threw 7 innings for his first win as a Duck, and James Fago struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth for his first save of the season.

The Ducks held a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, then Bakery Square tied the game on an Eric Friend, two-out, two-run double to left. John Friend led off the inning with a bunt single.

Matt Mullen led off the eighth with a single and stole second. Tom Pulice drove in what proved to be the game-winning run with a double to the right-center gap. Gwin and Brandt also drove in insurance runs in the inning.

Big missed opportunity by the Bandidos to not rebrand as the Toros, and go with these unis.

The win brings the Ducks record to 3-3. The Bandidos fall to 2-2.

South Oakland plays next against the Devils, Monday night, 8pm at Volunteers Field in Carrick.

Quack.

Ducks Win: South Oakland 14, Bakery Square 8

2020 South Oakland Ducks

Box Score

The Ducks (3-2) overcame an early 6-0 deficit and stormed back to beat the Bandidos 14-8 in Spring Hill Wednesday night. Randy Patton (W, 1-0) scattered 8 hits over six innings for the victory, and Brandon Blackstone pitched a scoreless seventh. Yohei Sekiya went 2-3 with 4 RBI for the Ducks. The Bandidos fell to 2-1 on the season.

This was a wild one. It was 6-0 Bandidos heading into the bottom of the second. Then their starter walked a bunch of people, and we scored 4 runs. They added another run in the top of the third, and we answered with a six-run inning. It was 10-7 after 4.

Patton settled down and had a couple quick innings.

Then They brought in another guy, and we scored two in the fifth, and two in the sixth.

Eric Friend pitched the sixth for Bakery Square. He made a nice catch earlier in the game in center field.

Our 4-7 hitters this game (Lombardi, Rayl, Gwin, Fago) have over 50 years of NABA experience between us. We all reached base at least twice. Veteran at-bats.

Gutsy performance by Patton on a night he got hit around a little. It looked like this one might get away from us, but we battled, and he gave us a chance to come back.

Missed opportunity by the Bandidos to not get 80s Padres style uniforms when they got new ones.

The Ducks and Bandidos play again Sunday, 9:30am, at Spring View Field

Quack.

 

 

Gameday 5: Ducks vs Bandidos

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

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (1-3)

vs

Bakery Square Bandidos (2-0)

9pm

Spring View Field

Projected starters:

Ducks: Patton

Bandidos: Friend

South Oakland looks to start a winning streak tonight against the resurgent Bandidos. After a thrilling extra inning win against South Side last weekend the Ducks are back in the win column and feeling confident. Tom Pulice earned his first win as Ducks manager. He’s the fifth coach to win a game for South Oakland.

Ducks managers by year:

  • Gwin: 2003-07
  • Jones: 2008-09
  • Gwin: 2010-11
  • Fago: 2012
  • Morgan: 2013
  • Gwin: 2014-19
  • Pulice: 2020

Based on this pattern, I’ll be back in 2022. The Billy Martin of the Pittsburgh NABA.

Last year the Ducks swept the Bandidos. In 2019, Bakery Square had a statistical anomaly of a season, winning like five games and suffering a bizarre defeat to a short handed Eagles team in the playoffs. But it looks like the odds may have swung back in their favor this season as the Bandidos are off to the best start in team history.

These teams have been rivals since the days of Zack King and the Mon Valley Dirty Birds, when the aforementioned King tried to fight our whole team for some reason. 2014 was a great year. That season, the Dirty Birds played at West Field before the renovation.

After a two year hiatus, the South Oakland Ducks of the North Side are returning to the North Side. We will play our home games at Spring View Field.

West Field was nice, I guess, but the borough was impossible to deal with, and the seeds/maintenance situation was ridiculous. The big dugouts were a nice change of pace, but the lights were impossible there. We tried to get a couple early season dates there this year, and after they charged me for them, they said they were cancelling the whole summer, and turned around and gave a DNL team a permit. I’m still waiting on my refund.

Tonight is a homecoming for the Ducks.

Bad News for the Bandidos

 

 

 

 

South Oakland Completes Injury-free First Batting Practice Session

Uncategorized

We had eight guys come out for BP last week, which is encouraging. Management is still figuring out what to do with the last few roster spots. Hopefully we have some pitching on the way.

We are still in the process of confirming our home field for the season. We might return to the Duck Pond full time this year.

The next league meeting is coming up on 3/1.

Quack

First Pittsburgh NABA League Meeting

Uncategorized

Not much happened to today. It looks like neither Sheraden nor West View will be back this season. I think they should merge and form the most likable team in league history. It’s also possible we will have to play a handful of games vs AAA teams. This isn’t a huge deal, and would prevent the AAA teams from having to play the same four teams six times a season.

There’s a possibility the league will add a team of seventeen year olds. I thought I’d have to wait a year to play against kids who weren’t born when I started our team, but here we are. There are some potentially bad outcomes with this, but we need to add teams if possible.

In Ducks news, 2018 AA MVP Tom Pulice is now manager, but I’ll be around to help out and blog. I think we got a few pitchers from the Mariners along with their former manager.

As always we need arms, but should have a good hitting lineup.

The meetings will heat up when we start discussing rule changes, and player eligibility stuff. I think we will probably look for more cut and dry rules for current college players and former pros in AA. The college exceptions, which were originally pushed for by Shaler (who also might fold) so they could sandbag in Single A a few years ago are too easily exploited. I imagine this will be a point of contention.

Anyway, I am excited not to manage.

Quack

Playoff Gameday 1: Ducks vs D2

2019 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (16-8)

vs

Pittsburgh D2 (8-15)

8pm

Herschel Park

South Oakland opens the playoffs against Pittsburgh D2 tonight in Elliot. The last remaining original five team, the Ducks are in search of their third title in team history. D2, I think, won the Single A title a few years back. D2 took two of three from the Ducks this season, but South Oakland won the last meeting 4-0 to clinch the 2-seed in the tournament. Hopefully this is the first of many games on the way to a title, but it’s a deep field this year, and there are no easy teams. This is probably the most evenly matched 2 vs 7 game in recent memory.

I don’t know what to expect tonight. We will probably get the kid that shut us down twice already this season. If we win today, we’re guaranteed to at least extend the season a week. A loss would set up a win or go home match tomorrow night against the loser of the Jays Grizzlies game. Pitching wise are built for a deep playoff run, but D2 has a lot of good arms too. This will be a close game tonight. We are the home team but playing at D2’s field due to West Field being used for AAU tournaments or something. We have a veteran team, and I think we can draw on that experience tonight.

Bad news for D2