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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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.

 

 

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 vs Bauerstown

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (10-5-1)

vs

Bauerstown Grizzlies (7-7-1)

9pm

Springview Field

A win for the Ducks tonight would pull the team back within a half game of the Eagles (12-4-1) and the Bandidos (13-6). The Grizzlies are trying to stop a three game losing streak and get back over .500.

League-wide, this season has been characterized by a bunch of ties and blackouts. It reminds me of my early twenties, most which I also spent playing for the Ducks. Seven of eleven teams in Double A have a tie, and the new guy at the city can’t keep the lights on. The stretch run this season is going to be interesting.

We’ve already had a tie, a rain-shortened game, a suspended game, and a game in which the lights went out in the bottom of the first inning.

South Oakland’s previous game against Bauerstown was called early due to a thunderstorm with the Ducks leading 8-7 heading into the bottom of the sixth. That game will be made up after the regularly scheduled seven inning game is played, if time permits, and the lights stay on.

The Ducks are coming off a big win against the Express, and should field a more complete lineup than the last meeting between the two teams.

Bad News for the Grizzlies

Derailed. Ducks 9, Express 1

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

Brian Strom went 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI, and Randy Patton mowed through five innings to lead the South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (10-5-1) past the Express (7-8) last night in Carrick.

After the Ducks went down in order to start the first, the Express took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the second, Brian Strom hit a bases loaded double followed by Jon Moore’s RBI ground out to take a 3-1 lead.

The Ducks added a run in the fourth when Chuck Zuzak beat out a double play ball for an RBI fielder’s choice.

In the fifth, the Ducks broke it open. Casale singled and scored on Gwin’s double to right. Lombardi walked, Morgan beat out an infield single, before Pulice hit a scorcher that some guy threw away, plating two more runs.

7-1 Ducks after five.

South Oakland added a run in the sixth off Sorosky’s RBI fielder’s choice, and another run in the seventh when Lombardi doubled home Dover.

Then their pitcher appeared to throw at Lonnie for some reason. If this was 2009, it probably would have resulted in a shit show.

Chuck Zuzak pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh innings, striking out 3 batters.

We haven’t lost two in a row this season

Big team win after dropping last week’s game vs. last place Cranberry. Everyone contributed. We beat a great pitcher.

Bloomfield residents Strom, Gwin and Moore went a combined 7-for-10 with two doubles and four RBI

Other stats of note:

Lombardi: 3-3, BB, 2B, RBI, 3R

Mike Brandt: 0-0, HBP

Lonnie Petril: 0-1, HBP

The Ducks next game is Wednesday, at Spring Hill vs. Bauerstown. Time tbd, in case we finish the suspended game first.

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

 

Gameday 16: Ducks vs. Cranberry

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

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-4-1)

vs.

Cranberry Crusaders (3-10)

9pm

Springview Field

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side can move into a tie for first with a win tonight over the Newly Minted Cranberry Crusaders.

Cranberry, at one point a couple years ago, went by the Young Guns. I think I remember this and probably photoshopped some kind of intense Emilio Estevez/Charlie Sheen wild west thing.

Image result for young guns movie images

Like this but with germani photoshopped in there, throwing that 50mph curve ball no one can hit.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/1b/The_Young_Guns_poster.jpg/220px-The_Young_Guns_poster.jpg

Anyway, I’m not surprised that name didn’t stick. There is really only room for one team with a nickname that has connotations to an Emilio Estevez film. Which, come to think of it, D2 is going to have to re-brand. Like the Dirty Bandido Lion Birds or whatever.

Best Emilio Estevev film?

Men at Work.

https://alchetron.com/cdn/Men-at-Work-1990-film-images-308d5ed0-499b-4869-9faf-34703d6606b.jpg

Bad News for the Crusaders

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