Gameday 6: Ducks vs Grizzlies

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (2-3)

vs

Bauerstown Grizzlies (1-3)

9pm

West Field

South Oakland looks to win its third straight game and get back to .500 after a slow start. Bauerstown looks to get back in the win column after two tough losses. These are two evenly matched teams. It should be a good game.

Here’s an old scorebook page:

Ducks vs Rakers? this is from like 2007. One of TC Jones’s first games as a Duck. My cousin Paul pitched for us. He was really good when he was sober. This must have been a night game.

Must be the Rakers. Note their #7 and 9 hitter. Barchie also pitched for the Ducks for a half season. He recorded 15 Ks in one game. I think that’s still a single game record.

We were just about to get really good. After TC came, he brought a bunch of Pitt Club players and we went from terrible to competitive. We started this year like 0-8 and wound up finishing like10-14 and narrowly missing the playoffs.

Bad News for the Grizzlies

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Ducks Win. South Oakland 7, Jays 3

2018 South Oakland Ducks

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (1-3) beat the Sheraden Jays (1-1) 7-3 in Munhall Wednesday night. Tony Casale hit a leadoff triple, and the Ducks scored five runs in the first inning, and the Jays never threatened the early lead.

 

Randy Patten threw five strong innings allowing 2 runs on five hits, with 5Ks, Mike Longman recorded the 2-inning save allowing one unearned run.

Tom Pulice threw out a guy at second by like ten feet.

Ben Gwin recorded 2, HBP, putting him in the team lead.

South Oakland added one in the fourth and one in the sixth.

I don’t know what it is about teams with non-player coaches, but it’s terrible to play against them. They typically have fans and random people in the dugout that run their mouths. Good for them, I guess. I can’t imagine playing in an adult league and having to deal with some twenty year old’s dad bitching at me. It’s bullshit. I can’t imagine what their game against West View was like.

South Oakland’s next game is Sunday, 12pm at Hershel Park vs the South Side Eagles.

Gameday 4: Ducks vs Jays

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (0-3)

vs

Sheraden Jays (1-0)

9pm

West Field

South Oakland looks to win its first game of the season tonight vs. 2017 Single A champion Sheraden. The Ducks need to get in the win column before the division is out of reach.

Here’s a random scorebook page from our illustrious 15 year history:

Ducks 6, Lions 4. This is from 2014. I really had fun that season. It was our first year not playing in the most competitive division, and not winning the title that year still feels like a missed opportunity.


It looks like we threw out a couple guys at home. Former manager, TC Jones started the game and went 2 innings, recording 2Ks. Looks like he pitched out of some trouble. We could use him this year. Ciccone came in to pitch the last few innings.

Alex Riley and Garrett Moore both played in this game for us. Hartranft and Swetz with RBI. Ciccone and Culp put the game out of reach in the fifth with back to back hits. I stole a ton of bases that year, so did Tony.

Great weather for baseball. Lets get a win tonight. 0-4 would be our worst start since 2007. We need a spark.

Bad News for the Jays

Gameday 3: Ducks at Cranberry

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (0-2)

at

Cranberry Crusaders (1-1)

5pm

Veteran’s Park of Cranberry (North Boundary Park)

South Oakland looks to win its first game of the season against the Crusaders this afternoon in Cranberry.

Below is an old scorebook page from a game two years ago vs. Cranberry. I remember we played this game at McGee Field because the mound at Spring Hill had been vandalized the night before. TJ had his car broken into, I think. We won on a walk-off hit by Culp in a ridiculous, 12-11 game.

Koshzow hit a ground rule double into the pool in left. We were down 11-10 going into the bottom of the seventh. They had their ace throwing and we knocked him around.

This season we pretty much only had Pat on the mound after Grahme blew out his shoulder. Nichols started this game, I think Brandt’s friend went 2 innings, and then Sorosky finished off the last two.

Alex Riley got on base three times this game in the revenge match against his former squad, and committed an error in RF.

Bad News for the Crusaders

 

 

 

Gameday 2: Ducks vs Express

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (0-1)

vs

Carrick Express (1-1)

9pm

West Field

South Oakland looks to get back on track after a tough loss to West View last week. Carrick is good. We are short a few guys tonight, so some players who might not start normally will get some at bats against one of the better pitchers we will face this season.

Below is an old score book page from 2010.

This was a Ducks vs Maulers game. The Maulers played in single A that season, and would eventually become the Express. South Oakland won 6-2. We lost to them earlier in the season.

Vernacchio’s last at bat was a 2-RBI double.

Kress, Kopy, Cannon, are all former Black Sox and Express players. Gruendle is still on the Express.

This must have been early in the season before all the Waynesburg guys joined the team that season and I nearly destroyed the franchise, which I’ve written enough about at this point.

Casale had a day. Duffy left to be a scientist halfway through this season. Guthrie would get the win on the mound in the deciding game of our second championship.

Bad News for the Express

Gameday 1: Ducks vs. Wolfpack

2018 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side

vs

West View Wolfpack

9pm

West Field

Getting out of spring view field was long over due. I think it’s incredible we are playing in the old Homestead Grays park.

No metal spikes.

Here’s a link to pretty cool site that shows how destroyed the field was before the renovations. Dead Baseball.

In stead of discussing this game, in honor of our 15th anniversary, I’m going to look through old score books and write about my findings. I am bored with half assed inflammatory previews.

This would probably be better as video, but i assume people only read these at work and that might be prohibitive. Still, maybe Germani and I can get together and create some amazing Pittsburgh NABA content.

Some of these old books are insanely rough. I think during the league’s first two seasons, I gave Boley our scorebook and he entered the stats, so there are many missing pages. Check this out from 2005.

These are consecutive pages, first a Maulers lineup, with Joe Graff leading off, then a Knights lineup, a Warriors lineup and a Ducks lines with the header: Ducks vs. Phantoms. There is no phantoms lineup anywhere though.

Naba legend Vinny Gala batting cleanup and playing 3rd. This was before Graff took over the league. We held them to one run. I don’t know how we managed that. Swetz must have pitched.

I think Brandt and Sorosky became Knights the next season. The Warriors won the title in 2005, I think. Maybe it was the Black Sox. Craig Boley: 2-3 and reached on an error, 2 SB, 2R. Solid production from the 8 spot.

We had a decent lineup. Hartranft, Swetz, Swanger, Adam Oliver. Eric Lee was the fastest guy I’ve ever seen. I think he’s on the lamb somewhere. We didn’t have a natural shortstop or enough pitching. We had like 3 second basemen who couldn’t throw. It was rough on defense.

Here’s an old picture from the blog’s glory days.

Bad News for West View

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Team Awards

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

The Bandidos won the title, after having split from the AAA Dirty Birds of 2016. Now they will move up again. Maybe they will just fold and split again instead? They’ve done an awful lot of branding to go that route. But maybe they’ll become the Astros. Winter meetings should be interesting. They are deserving champions and from what I can tell a bunch of solid guys. The top seeded Eagles lost after a pretty dominant regular season. The Oilers and Ducks were both upset early. 11th seeded D2 was in the semifinals. I wish they would have won it, and gone from A to AAA in two years.

Those first couple Wednesdays when we don’t have a game are always tough. This was a frustrating year for the format to go to single elimination. We had too much time off, I guess, and lost to a hot Express team who almost upset the Bandidos in the semis.

Next year, I’m going to reschedule a rainout for the week prior to the playoffs so we don’t have this problem again.

After another fun season, we once again fell short. We should return most of the same guys next year. Hopefully we can add an arm or two. It was frustrating to have Ben Sorosky and Randy step up, only to have guys who pitched well for us last year not show up to a lot of games for various reasons.

Here are the team awards.

Pitcher of the year: Ben Sorosky 

After not throwing for a few seasons, he came back and gave us solid innings every Wednesday. He was a great teammate and good clubhouse presence. Also had many sweet sacrifice bunts.

Defensive player of the year: Tom Pulice

Tony is probably the best defensive shortstop in the league, but I can’t give him this award every season, plus he was hurt for a while.

Tom came in and was arguably our MVP. Teams didn’t run on us this year, and he handled the pitching staff well.

Co-Offensive players of the year: TJ Morgan and Mark Lombardi

Check their stats. They both raked. We had a good of a 3-7 in the order as we ever had.

MVP: DJ Dover

Dover had possibly the most impressive single season I’ve seen as a Duck. He broke the single season HR record, lead the league in RBI and, and got pitched around a lot towards the end of the year. Bakery Square is not upset they didn’t have to face him in the playoffs. Dover also played short when Casale was out and provided serviceable defense there. Not lost in all this is that he drove from Erie every game and made all but two games when we had guys who wouldn’t show up for seemingly no reason. Also ran BP before every game for those who could make it.

For next year, we need pitching. We offer excellent run support and a home field with shitty lights where it’s hard to hit.

I think next year, we should plan on entering a tournament because it will be fun to take the show on the road and maybe bring some ringers along.

I want to thank all the fans who came out and everyone else in the league for making this year happen. Joe Graff for running the league and dealing with all the bullshit. Thanks to everyone who read the blog.

Finally, I want to thank my teammates for giving me another year to play ball. For a singles hitting hustle guy to play on a team full of former college players, albeit old ones, is pretty great. I’m happy I can contribute. As long as I can run out there in center, I’ll keep managing this team.

Quack

 

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.

 

 

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