There’s Nothing Like a Night Game at Moore Park

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Ducks End Regular Season on High Note. Face Devils in First Round

Back in 2003 the Piranhas had this guy Gustavo Lopez (behind Boley, holding bat), and used to just kill us. He hit like seven home runs in that first year, and hit well over .500. We played out in Ambridge on a tiny field past Economy Park on the other side of rt. 65 across from Red Cap Dry Cleaners. During the regular season, Lopez hit towering home runs into the little league field beyond ours. We would walk him late in the game even if it put the tying run on base. He was cocky, and proved to be one of the leagues first great villains. He’s probably a good guy. I don’t really know him.

In 2003, we had a so-so regular season. We were mostly all happy to still be baseball again. The morning time slot 45 minutes away from Oakland did us no favors. Almost all of us were hungover, still, drunk or smoking weed to calm our nerves on the long ride to the games. We finished fourth out of five teams, and made a run in the post season to our first championship over the Piranhas.

Lopez was a non-factor in the championship. Playing at John Herb the rainbow arced home runs he hit at Ambridge turned to fly outs. When we made the move to wood bats, he hit .176. I have no idea what he’s doing now.

Ducks vs D2 Box Score

Piranhas vs Ducks Recap

South Oakland clinched the four seed behind a solid spot start from Ben Doak (W, 1-0), and clutch hitting from Mark Lombardi Wednesday night in Spring Hill. With the win, South Oakland took the season series from the feisty Piranhas who upset them earlier in the year. The Ducks will be the home team tonight at Moore Park in an elimination game against the Devils.

Playoff Gameday 1: Ducks vs Devils

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (13-11)

vs

South Hills Devils (13-11)

8:30 pm

Moore Park

Both South Hills and South Oakland started slow this year, lost a dominant pitcher, and still put together winning seasons. The Ducks and Devils both sit at 13-11. The Ducks own the tie breaker thanks to winning a tough season series in what many believe has become the premier rivalry of AA Pittsburgh NABA baseball. There’s not much to say here that would do this one justice. It’s been a great season, and it’s a shame one of these two teams has to go home early. Hopefully the Moore Park magic of seasons past is on our side.

Bad news for the Devils

 

 

Gameday 23 and Bandidos Recap

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South Oakland split a weekend set with the Bandidos, winning Friday’s game 5-2, and dropping Saturdays game 2-1. On the season, the Bandidos won the net runs by 1, and took two of three from the Ducks. They also won the negotiating rights of disgruntled, pitcher/outfielder Greg Friend who is set to become a restricted free agent after the season.

“Maybe after next year,” a source in the Ducks front office said. “We wish him the best.”

“Is this real?” Friend asked. “I wish I’d known about this before the game.”

Bandidos management was not available for comment.

Friend made a great catch in Friday’s game and converted the save on Sunday. 

 

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (12-10)

vs

Pittsburgh D2 (7-12-1)

9pm

Springview Field

Over the weekend, the Ducks clinched a non-losing record with their twelfth win. After a rough start, the team has rounded into form winning 9 of 12 down the stretch.

A win tonight would clinch the fourth seed and ensure a home game in the first round of the playoffs. We’d also stay mathematically alive for the three seed, depending on the outcome of the Cranberry (11-11-1) and South Side (13-9) game. A Ducks loss tonight keeps the six seed in play.

We want to stay hot heading into the meat grinder of an opening round next weekend and what looks to be an inevitable rematch with the new look South Hills Devils.

D2 has been a tough matchup for us historically. This one could go either way as both teams empty their bullpens, but we have a slight edge playing at home. Our record at the Duck Pond has been great this year. 

Bad news for D2

 

Ducks Lose: South Oakland 2, South Side 3

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Box Score

The Ducks (1-1) lost a heartbreaker in the West End this afternoon, dropping a close game to the Eagles (2-1) at Herschel Park.

The Eagles scored a run in the first off a HBP, and a double. Ducks starter, Randy Patton (0-0) settled down, scattering four more hits over five innings. The Eagles added their second run in the fifth when two Ducks collided in shallow center, leading to a two base error. The Eagles runner would later score on a single.

The Eagles starter was pulled after two effective innings due to arm trouble, but their relief pitcher was effective. He allowed two hits and worked out of trouble in the fifth thanks to a line out double play with the bases loaded.

The Ducks trailed 2-0 going into the seventh but tied the game on a walk, two hits and an RBI groundout to the right side that plated two runs.

The Eagles took advantage of another two-base, Ducks error when their leadoff batter advanced to second after an errant throw on a squibber to the infield. Their next batter hit a ground ball through the right side to win the game.

It’s tough to waste a good pitching performance, but at least we battled back to tie in the seventh. We had a few hard outs with guys on base. Overall, we played well but couldn’t hit their junk baller. This has been the recipe to beat us for a few years now. The Eagles haven’t looked this good since the days of Noonan, and I expect them to be in the mix this year.

The Ducks next game is Wednesday, 9pm vs Bauerstown at the Duck Pond.

The Ghost of Doug Ryba: Ducks 15, Piranhas 0 (3 inn.)

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Pittsburgh NABA legend, Dough Ryba, pictured above, was a member of the original Piranhas in 2003. Sponsored By Amica

South Oakland (1-0) defeated the expansion Piranhas (0-1) by a score of 15-0 in 3 innings last night in Spring Hill.

Ducks pitcher Brandon Blackstone (W, 1-0) pitched a complete game no-hitter. Two Piranhas reached via an error and a walk respectively.

The Ducks sent twelve batters to the plate in the first inning and scored six runs. They added five runs in the second, and four in the third, capped by TJ Morgan’s walk off, two-run single to right.

The commissioner stopped by, and gave us baseballs.

The win marks the ducks first shutout win since 2019, and the fourth no-hitter (Dickman (2), Tessier) in team history, be it abbreviated.

East Pittsburgh could have used Ryba’s bat in this one. Sounds like they were missing some guys, and should improve as the season goes on.

After blowing a seven run, third inning lead in Cranberry last opener, this was a much improved start.

We hit really well, and did a good job of staying patient at the plate. I don’t have the book in front of me, but if I recall correctly, Pulice, Rayl, and Morgan all had multi hit games. Pulice, Rayl, and Gwin hit doubles. Eleven different Ducks reached base at least once. I’ll link the box score when it’s updated, and make any corrections.

South Oakland will face the revamped South Side Eagles at Herschel Park, Sunday at 12 pm

Quack.