Gameday 16/Senators Recap

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Gameday 16:

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (8-7)

at

East Pittsburgh Piranhas (2-10)

8pm

Moore Park

South Oakland looks to extend its winning streak to six games against an improved Piranhas team tonight in Brookline. The Ducks won 15-0 against East Pittsburgh in the season opener. Tonight’s game should be a tougher test for the Ducks. The Piranhas beat second place Cranberry 3-2 in extra innings last week behind a solid pitching performance by Matt Gayda and Dustin Grabowski.

In 2003, the Piranhas rotation was lead by Lesher and Heckman. Heckman was an ass, but an effective hard throwing lefty. He was passed over for the start in the finals against the Ducks in favor of that guy from Waynesburg that we knocked around. He famously clashed with management in subsequent years.

Lesher was solid. Veteran move with the lawn chair.
Heckman is probably throwing at someone here

The Ducks and Piranhas had a solid rivalry in the inaugural NABA season. Craig Boley and Ben Gwin have not met in the playoffs since the league’s first year despite combining for close to 500 games played. The Ducks faded in the 2004 post season and had a few down years. By the time they were competitive again in 2008, the Warriors were at their peak but playing in the other division (At the time, we were split into Monongahela and Allegheny). I may have some details wrong. The death of the old website makes it hard to fact check.

The Ducks were on their way up, and the Warriors would start their decline. The leagues would split into A and AA, and the last chance for the franchises to meet in the post season ended when the Warriors forfeited in 2018 before a first round matchup with South Oakland.

Senators Recap:

Ducks 10, Senators 0

Matt Mullen (W, 1-0) threw a complete game, two-hit shutout as the Ducks rolled to their fifth straight win. South Oakland scored early and often in this one. TJ Morgan and Stef Blackstone are on a tear, leading a resurgent, opportunistic offense. With a few mid season acquisitions, and better attendance, South Oakland is playing like the team many considered a sleeper pick to make a run to the finals in the preseason. 

Realignment Watch 2021

This year we will keep track of how the Senators and BIG OIL fare after moving up a division.

screen-shot-2021-05-05-at-1.40.58-pm

BIG OIL has won two of its last three, and is holding its own in the middle of the AAA pack. 

  • Record: 5-9
  • Runs against: 73
  • Run differential: -29

The Senators have shown flashes this season, playing in some tight games and upsetting the top two teams in Cranberry and Bauerstown. 

  • Record: 2-11
  • Runs against: 119
  • Run differential: -92

So far it seems the Oilers are acclimating better to a higher level of play, but the Senators have yet to play two-win East Pittsburgh. Both the Oilers and Senators could play spoiler in the playoffs of their respective divisions.

razor-ramon

There’s nothing like a Thursday night at Moore Park. A win tonight puts us tied for third. NABA great Ben Sorosky is scheduled to start. The crafty veteran should keep us in the game until we can turn it over to the bullpen.

Gameday [12] Ducks (8-3) vs. Eagles (2-5)

Bad news for the Piranhas

Ducks Win: South Oakland 6, North Park 4 (9 inn.)

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks win, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland abolished the filibuster, and held off a late obstructionist push by the Senators, winning a 6-4 thriller in extras yesterday in Homestead.

Ducks starter Randy Patton left with a 3-2 lead in the fifth. The Senators tied the game in the fifth and the seventh, but could not take the lead. The Ducks went ahead for good on a two-out, two run single by Gwin in the ninth. Brandon Blackstone got the win in relief, and recorded his first hit as a Duck.

  • Cody Quinn, TJ Morgan, Mike Brandt, and Kenny Rayl hit doubles.
  • Morgan is gunning for another batting title.
  • We were short handed, but our pitching staff did a great job.
  • The bullpen not only pitched well, but took advantage of getting some rare at bats.
  • I may be getting the innings wrong. It was hot. The Senators battled.
  • We really need guys to show up this week vs D2. These two games are huge. They are right in front of us in the standings.

The Ducks next game is Tuesday vs D2. 8:30pm at Herschel Park

Quack.

Gameday 12: Ducks at Senators

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (4-7)

at

North Park Senators (2-9)

3pm

Whitaker Field

The Ducks look to win the season series against the Senators today in Homestead. South Oakland has won two of its last three. A win today would put the team one game behind Pittsburgh D2 before a home and home series next week. With three games in five days, the Ducks chances to finish in the top 5 will become clearer this week.

Other games this weekend include a big series between the Eagles and Grizzlies, while Cranberry plays East Pittsburgh and Bakery Square on back to back days. It is the height of vacation season. Roster depth and flexibility will be paramount throughout June and heading into 4th of July weekend.

Image via Defector

The Senators are looking at this game as one they can sneak from a four-win team. We can’t take anything for granted. They stole one from Cranberry last week, and played us close for four innings before we pulled away last time. This is a game we have to win despite playing without several starters.

We’re short-handed, but we have enough pitching. I feel confident with Patton on the mound today.

Bad news for the Senators

Ducks Win: South Oakland 14, South Hills 13

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South Oakland (4-8) came back from an early 2-1 deficit behind an 8-run fifth inning, and then held off a late rally by the Devils (3-8) to win a wild one in Spring Hill yesterday. Ducks starter Randy Patton (W, 2-1) pitched four strong innings before turning it over to the bullpen. The bullpen had mixed results.

The game was tied 4-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth. The umpires were bad, but just typically bad up to that point. Then it escalated. They missed some calls for the Devils pitcher in the fifth, and the Ducks took advantage when he had to put it down the middle. TJ Morgan hit one off the fence in right that was a foot from going out. We hit a couple doubles and wound up putting eight runs on the board. The plate ump started arguing back with the Devils.

The ump told us we didn’t deserve better umpires. This guy was calling pitches when they were halfway to the plate. I’ve never seen that before. He was out of position all game, and let the game get out of hand.

South Oakland led 12-4 after 5. Our reliever had one out and one on, and the plate ump missed called strike threes on consecutive batters that would have ended the inning. Instead those guys walked. Then there were more bad calls and we walked in two runs. There was a double that cleared the bases, then a 2-run home run. The Devils put up 7 on three hits in the inning.

The Ducks added two in the bottom of the inning to take a three-run lead into the seventh.

Then the ump made more bad calls, tried to issue a warning, and he threatened to leave. He said he should give us $5 back and quit. He told one guy that if he wanted good umpires it would cost $300. One great line was, “Why don’t you get some grandma to stand behind the fence and call balls and strikes.”

It was ridiculous.

The Devils scored two runs in the seventh before Hoffman came in to close the game for South Oakland, stranding the tying run on second.

  • The Devils new uniforms are pretty nice
  • If our record was better, Stef Blackstone would be the hands down AA MVP this year. If we finish strong, he should win it.
  • TJ Morgan is having an incredible season at the plate
  • If there was ever a loss that could give a team momentum, it was yesterday’s for the Devils. They battled.
  • It would have been a devastating loss for us after we finally put together a big inning against a quality starting pitcher. This was a big win for us.
  • The umps really spoiled what was an important game in the standing for both teams. I don’t understand why some umps what to make the games about them. The other extreme is they are totally checked out sometimes and won’t even make fair/foul calls. Just be as consistent as possible, and try to get in position to make the right calls. That’s all anyone can ask for.

South Oakland plays next on Wednesday night, 9pm at Springview Field vs the Bandidos.

Quack.

Gameday 10: Ducks vs. Grizzlies

2021 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (2-6)

vs

Bauerstown Grizzlies (9-1)

9pm

SpringView Field

South Oakland looks to right the ship tonight in Spring Hill against the first place Grizzlies. The forecast is calling for rain and playoff hockey tonight.

With over a third of the season in the books, the Ducks have not met expectations. There is no way around it. However the team can still make a run at the top five, and has the pitching depth to win a series if they can get that far. Hopefully attendance improves. Right now the Ducks need to win one game against a team they lost to on the last at-bat over the weekend. It should be another exciting matchup.

Realignment Watch 2021

This year we will keep track of how the Senators and BIG OIL fare after moving up a division.

Big news last week as the Senators slow-balled the Grizzlies to death in a 3-2 victory to hand Bauerstown it’s first loss.

Record: 1-5

Runs allowed: 65

Run differential: -52

The Hebrew Oilers are adapting well to life in AAA behind solid starting pitching and defense. BIG OIL has wins against 2019 champion Ohio Valley, 2018 champion West End, and the 2016 champion Bulldogs.

Record: 3-3

Runs allowed: 25

Run differential: -5

The East Pittsburgh Piranhas also won their first game of the season against a depleted Bakery Square team.

I will take this as a victory for Trafford over Shady Side. Bakery Square is probably the worst place in the state. Since I am friends with many Bandidos, I will assume that taking the Bk Sq title is an ironic commentary against gentrification. Also, that’s where there field is.

Still, they could have rebranded as the East Liberty Angels and used these amazing uniforms:

Greg Friend commented: “We went from being the Mon Valley Dirty Birds to repping Bakery Square, which isn’t even a real place. For the record, I was against the name change, but management never listens to me.”

We’re listening, Greg.

The league is wide open this year, but we need to start winning games. The vibe in the clubhouse remains mostly positive. It’s going to be a long summer if we don’t think we have a run in us. It’s never a bad day to start a winning streak, but we have to focus on one game.

I like our chances at home tonight. We may even have our middle infielders.

Bad News for the Grizzlies

Gameday 4: Ducks vs Cranberry

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (2-1)

vs

Cranberry (2-0-1)

9pm

Springview Field

After winning a nine-inning thriller vs South Hills on Monday, the Ducks can move into a tie for second with a win against Cranberry.

Devils Recap

Ducks 6, Devils 5 (9 inn.)

Bos Score

Billy Welsh (W, 1-1) allowed 5 hits and struck out 16 in nine innings of work. Welsh out dueled veteran Brandon Bouchard (L, 1-1) from South Hills who was lifted after surrendering 5 runs in the eighth.

South Oakland had eleven hits but couldn’t break the 1-1 tie until Mike Brandt singled home two in the ninth, followed by an RBI infield hit by Gwin that scored two runs. Lombardi added his second RBI of the game to put the Ducks ahead by five, and they would need the insurance runs. The Devils scored four in the ninth with the help of a couple walks and HBPs around singles by Rodi and Rush.

This game should have ended 2-1 in regulation. Ducks utility player/relief pitcher Ben Sorosky was safe by two steps at home on what should have ben an RBI fielders choice, but was called out to the surprise of everyone.

Cranberry

Here’s a link to the Cranberry blog. It would be great if their 8-3 extra innings win from last year wasn’t still in the “last game” section. Here’s some new art for future blogs, Andy:

Cranberry is historically a terrible matchup for us. Even in the pre-Stumpf era when they didn’t really have a short stop, and Andy’s dad was manager, we struggled to hit their pitching. We do better against pitchers who try to overpower us. This isn’t news. We need to find a way to beat them. Two years ago, they finished in first, and we were a half game behind them thanks to two one-run losses. Last year, they swept us, and if we had split that series, we might have avoided the Oilers in the semi-finals. If we had just split those games, all of which were one-run or extra inning games, we could have had a much easier draw in the playoffs.

Tonight should be a good test for both teams, if the last two years are any indication, it will come down to the last inning.

I like our chances in a tight game at home tonight.

Bad news for Cranberry

Gameday: 3 Ducks at Devils

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

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

at

South Hills Devils (1-4)

8:30pm

Herschel Park

After a rainy week, Ducks look to get back over .500 with a win against struggling rival South Hills. The Devils have had some bad luck early this year, but they are still a solid, experienced team that can score runs. Eventually the back luck will swing the other way, they have too many good players. Last year we split the season series and the run differential was even. It will be a close one tonight.

We need to keep wining games to stay in the top half of the standings. With the monsoon last week, there will be a backlog of games later in the year. We need to position ourselves for the stretch run before we start playing four games in ten days in June. We have the bullpen rested and most of our starters tonight.

Bad news for the Devils

Gameday 3: Ducks vs Grizzlies

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

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

vs

Bauerstown Grizzlies (5-0)

9pm

Springview Field

Weather permitting, the Ducks look to knock off the undefeated Grizzlies tonight in Spring Hill. Bauerstown has averaged ten runs a game while allowing three during its current winning streak. Also during the streak, the Grizzlies have comeback twice when trailing after six innings against the Bandidos and Devils respectively. It seems they have benefitted from their year off.

The Ducks send Billy Welsh (0-1) to the mound tonight to get the team back on track after a tough loss to the Eagles on Sunday.

Both Bauerstown teams are winning all their games this year, as the single A Turtles are in first place with a 5-0 record.

Realignment Watch 2021

This year we will keep track of how the Senators and BIG OIL fare after moving up a division.

The Senators are 0-2, losing both games by a combined 35-5, including a 20-0 opening day defeat at the hands of the Eagles.

The Oilers have not played a game yet.

The Grizzlies eliminated South Oakland from playoff contention the past two seasons. This is always a tough matchup for us, but I like our chances at home with Billy pitching in cold weather.

Bad news for the Grizzlies

Ducks Lose: South Oakland 2, South Side 3

2021 South Oakland Ducks, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

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.)

2021 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks win, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball
pittsburgh naba, south oakland ducks, east pittsburgh piranhas,
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.