Pittsburgh NABA: League News: 2018 Pittsburgh NABA Playoffs

2018 Pittsburgh NABA Playoffs

8/5 - Champions.

AAA Results - In a game that went down to the end, Steel City ultimately prevailed 13-5, putting an exclaimation point on the second straight Pittsburgh NABA Championship.  A pitchers' duel until the fourth, when the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead.  Steel City answered in the top of the fifth by tying the score 1-1, only to see the Bulldogs reclaim the lead in the bottom of the 5th 3-1.  The score remained 3-1 until the top of the 7th, when Steel City opened the floodgates and put up 12 runs.  Final Score: 13-5.

AA Results - The third game in the series did not disappoint as it was decided in extra-innings, walk-off style.  All three games featured walk-offs, and Games 1 and 3 needed a total of 6 extra frames to be decided.  Two well-matched teaams.  With the score tied 5-5 into the 9th inning, Witer Jimenez singled to RF to score Casey Thompson, and the Oilers earned the first Pittsburgh NABA Championship.

8/4 - Two great contests set up an epic Championship Sunday.

AAA Results - Game 1 of the AAA Championship Series featured a close battle of the last two AAA Champions.  Good pitching and timely hitting was the order of the day with Steel City ultimately prevailing 6-4.  Games 2 and 3 (if needed) will be Sunday 6pm @ John Herb Field.

AA Results - Game 2 of the AA Championship between the Bauerstown Grizzlies and Hebrew Oilers resulted in another classic. Heading into the bottom of the 7th inning, the Oilers held a 7-4 lead. Three outs away from their season ending, the Grizzlies began to rally. With the deficit reduced to two, bases loaded, and one out, Joe Zangaro drove a double to left center field. The double cleared the bases and gave the Grizzlies a walk off 8-7 victory to force a decisive Game 3, Sunday 3pm @ Mellon Park.


8/3 - AA Results - Game 1 of the AA Championship Series between the Bauerstown Grizzlies and Hebrew Oilers needed extra innings to be decided. The Oilers were able to slip past the Grizzlies 2-1 in 11 innings. Mike Pearson ( Oilers) and Noah Hernandez (Grizzlies) both pitched well into the extra frames for their respective teams. Pearson finished off a complete game by hurling 11 shut down innings, while Hernandez gave a solid effort into the tenth inning. With the Oilers leading 1-0 in the best of three series, the two teams will battle again on Saturday, 5pm at Bauerstown.


7/29 - One Champion was crowned, while the other two Championship pairings were set.

The Ducks needed 10 innings to eliminate the Devils 6-5, but them were eliminated themselves by the Bauerstown Grizzlies.  The Bauerstown Grizzlies took advantage of a fatigued South Oakland Ducks team, following their extra inning marathon with the South Hills Devils. The Grizzlies defeated the Ducks 11-2 to earn a trip to the AA Championship to battle the Hebrew Oilers in a best of three series. Bauerstown was led offensively by Chris Zurcher, who collected three hits. Steve Richey picked up his second win and second complete game during the post season. The Oilers hold a 3-0 advantage over the Grizzlies in games played this season.

A Results - The Monsters came from behind to win Game 2, but the Senators prevailed in the decisive Game 3 7-5.  Manager Sean Cammarata and the Senators win their first ever Pittsburgh NABA title.


7/28 - In what has become a reoccuring theme in these playoffs, there were four NABA games today... and in all four games, the underdog came out victorious.

AAA Results - Ohio Valley eliminates top seed Jefferson Hills, as all nine starters had at least one hit, led by Clay Groff with two doubles and Jason Kim threw complete game.

AA Results - The South Hills Devils eliminated the defending Champion Bandidos by a score of 8-2.  

The Hebrew Oilers defeated the Bauerstown Grizzlies 6-5 in eight innings to clinch a spot in the AA Championship Series. A tightly contested pitchers dual needed extra innings to be decided. In the top of the 8th, with the score tied 2-2, the Oilers exploded for 4 runs. Witer Jimenez delivered with the bases loaded by smashing a bases clearing double to the right center field gap to make the score 6-2. In the bottom half, the Grizzlies rallied to score three and push within one run, however, the come back fell short. The Bauerstown Grizzlies will face the winner of the Ducks vs Devils in the loser’s bracket semi final on Sunday.

A Results - In Game 1 of the Single A Championship, the North Park Senators defeated the Monongahela Monsters.  The two teams will face off again for Game 2 at 6pm at Herschel Field.  Game 3 will follow if needed.


7/27 - AAA Results - Steel City Advances to the championship round with a 6-1 victory over the Clinton Cherokee.  The Cherokee will compete in the loser's bracket semifinal on 7/29.


7/26 - Two contents , two upsets.

AAA Results - Steel City and Jefferson Hills completed what was one of the greatest games in Pittsburgh NABA history.  Picking up in the 9th inning with the score 2-2, Steel City finally took the lead in the 11th to claim the victory.  Steel City will move on to face the Cherokee, while Jefferson Hills will face Ohio Valley.

AA Results - The South Oakland Ducks upset the second seeded Eagles behind a strong offensive performance 9-2.  The Ducks await the loser of the Bandidos and Devils in the losers bracket.  


7/25 - AAA Results - Shaler and Robinson resumed their suspended game from 7/22 with Robinson threatening late, but Shaler ultimately prevailing 4-2.  Shaler moved on to face the Bulldogs, but could not hold early leads of 3-0 and 5-3 and lost 8-6.


7/23 - AAA Results - A rain make up from Sunday between Jefferson Hills and 2017 Champ Steel City was suspended after 8 complete with the score tied 2-2.  The two teams will pick up their game Saturday.


7/22- The rain finally hit home as one game was suspended, one was postponed, and the entire afternoon slate was impacted by scattered thundershowers throughout the area.

AAA Results - Ohio Valley eliminated Elliott in an early contest while the Cherokee held off the Bulldogs 3-2 in a rain interrupted evening game.  Shaler was leading Robinson 3-0 when the game was suspended in the 5th inning.  Jefferson Hills and Steel City was rained out.  Both games will be picked up later in the week.

AA Results -  The Oilers upset the Bandidos 7-2 in an early contest sending the defending Champions to the losers bracket.  The Bauerstown Grizzlies defeated the South Side Eagles by a score of 4-3. The Eagles took advantage of shaky Grizzlies defense in the first inning with timely hits to jump out to a 2-0 lead after one. In the fourth, the Grizzlies responded with a lead off walk followed by three straight hits to push three across the plate, taking a 3-2 lead. The Grizzlies added a pivotal insurance run in the 7th to increase the lead to two. The Eagles rallied in the seventh to score one, but left the game tying run stranded on second base. Steve Richey pitched a complete game for Bauerstown to earn the victory. Jordan Van Thiel continued his hot start to the playoff, adding two more RBIs, bringing his total to five through the first two games.

In the Loser's Bracket, the 5th seeded Ducks rode a strong performance by starter Chuck Zuzak to a 7-2 victory over the Express (9).  Sunday night 830 pm featured Number #6 seed Pittsburgh D2 vs #7 seed South Hills Devils.  In one of the most exciting games in Pittsburgh NABA history, it was a back to back pitcher’s duel for Pittsburgh D2 as Mike Joyce took on the Devil’s Brandon Bouchard. Both pitchers tossed 6 innings allowing only one run each. Devil’s Logan Austin and D2’s Sam Smallhoover took over the pitching battle. The Devils got their run in the 2nd and led 1-0 until the sixth inning, when Memphis Carpenter doubled, Sammy Smallhoover advanced him to third and Mike Zwigart singled to bring Carpenter home. The score remained tied 1-1 through the next 4 innings. Both teams had their chance to advance, but left runners stranded. The 11th inning belonged to The Devils, as Logan Austin’s single brought in the winning run. D2 failed to execute in the bottom of the 11th allowing the Devils to advance to the next playoff round. Great pitching and fielding by both teams……. best fought playoff game. 

A Results - The Senators advance to the Pittsburgh NABA championships with a 16-15 victory over the top seeded Lions.  In the nightcap, it was a very tight game thru 5 inn but with a 12 strike out performance from Mike Serpa and with solid hitting and defense the Frogmen prevailed over the Monsters 10-1. 


7/21- With scattered showers throughout the Pittsburgh Area, the Pittsburgh NABA completed all 14 scheduled games without delay.  This was the largest number of postseason games in single day in Pittsburgh NABA history.

AAA Results - The Bulldogs (3) sent Elliot (6) to the losers bracket in an early contest by a final of 10-4.  Later in the day, Ohio Valley (7) defeated Robinson (8) by a 10-2 final before being sent to the loser's bracket by the Cherokee (2) after a 7-2 defeat.

AA Results - The Devils (7) eliminates Cranberry (10) 6-2 led by Zack Campbell’s 3-3 2 double 2 RBI morning combines with a complete game, 8 strike out performance by Pica.. The Devils then faced the Eagles (2) and when tied after 2, two bases loaded triples by Allen and Heben score 6 in the 3rd to push to 7-1 and coast to a 9-1 win from there.  

2016 Champion Pittsburgh D2 (6) eliminates Wexford (11) when in the bottom of the 7th and D2 down 5-4, Jeff Arnold was hit by a pitch and later stole second.  Mike Joyce doubles to score Arnold.  Joyce scores the winning run on a walk-off single by Bill Delpercio.  This set up the third straight postseason matchup between the 2016 Champions and the runner-ups: the Bauerstown Grizzlies (3).  Noah Hernandez (Grizzlies) and Justin Dix (D2) both threw complete games for their team. A tight pitchers dual entered the bottom of the 7th inning tied at two a piece. With runners on first and second with two outs for the Grizzlies, Jordan Van Thiel walked it off by delivering a single to center field to score the game winning run, for a 3-2 final. Van Thiel knocked in all three runs for the Grizzlies. The three seed Bauerstown Grizzlies advance in the winners bracket to battle the two seed South Side Eagles. Six seed, Pittsburgh D2, will face the South Hills Devils in an elimination game.

The Express (9) eliminated the Jays (8) by a final of 6-2 before being sent to the losers bracket by the Bandidos 6-1.  The Oilers (4) sent the Ducks (5) to the loser's bracket by a score of 2-1. The Bandidos will face the Eagles tomorrow, while the Ducks will face the Express in an elimination game.

A Results - The Senators (5) upset two teams in a suprise sweep of a split doubleheader.  The first eliminated the Mariners (4) by a final of 5-4 before squaring off against the Lions (1) in Game 1 of their Best of 3 Series.  They defeated the Lions by a final of 7-4.


7/20 - The Pittsburgh NABA playoffs opened with scattered thunderstorms in the area, but no delays to action on the field.

AAA Results - Defending Champs Steel City opened the playoffs emphatically by jumping out to a 10-0 lead before eventually defeating Shaler 11-4.  Steel City advances in the winners bracket to face Jefferson Hills, while Shaler awaits the results of Ohio Valley and Robinson in the loser's bracket.

A Results - The West View Frogmen earned their first ever posteason victory with an imppressive win over Moon Area.  Behind the 10 strike out pitching of Luke Stotz and a 15 hit hitting attack led by Dave Severino, David Vevers and Alex Manjerovic the Frogmen prevailed over the Patriots 10-2. West View will advance to face the Monongahela Monsters in a best of 3 series starting 7/21 at historic Moore Park.



AAA Preview - 8 teams wil compete for the top honor in the Pittsburgh NABA.  The top three seeds from 2017 return to their same seeding in 2018 while reigning Champion Steel City (5) and the Shaler Rebels (4) round out the top five seeds.  Jefferson Hills (1) returns the core of last year's team including long term stalwarts Jack Shaffer and Greg Schneider.  Manager Keith Reynolds will lead this young team against a strong field of competitors as they look to claim their first AAA title, and second Pittsburgh NABA title overall (2013).

Rob Cool (who has won three Pittsburgh NABA Championships  (2008, 2014, 2015) previously) leads the Clinton Cherokee (2), who made a lot of changes to last year's roster in an effort to unseat Steel City.  Veterans like Dave Houseman, Mitch Taufer, and Dante Dalessandro will be counted on to lead a youthful core in the playoffs after a strong finish to their regular season.  The Pittsburgh Bulldogs (3) return a veteran core of players from their 2016 championship season as Colin Dougherty seeks to return the championship hardware to the Bulldogs.  Two-time NABA Champion Shaler improved on their 2017 AAA campaign and were the early season leaders.  Mark Dobson's squad will once again attempt to become the first NABA team to win all three league championships (A-2013, AA-2016).

Defending Champion Steel City returns most of their championship core from 2018.  Manager Dustin Mills has used the regular season to sharpen the skills of an impressive lineup featuring 4 former professional players (Andrew Heck, Dante Dalessandro, Matt Litzinger, and Josh Hungerman), and another 11 players who played at Division I or Division II collegiately.  Elliot (6), Ohio Valley (7), and Robinson (8) round out the AAA bracket.  All three teams feature up and coming college and high school talent led by steady veteran managers Steve Smith, Pat Reilly, and Scott Zegeer respectively.


AA Preview - 2018 featured the largest league in Pittsburgh NABA history, and one of the largest 18 and over leagues ever in the Pittsburgh area.  The 13 teams in Double A this season feature 8 previous Pittsburgh NABA Champions, including the defending Single A Champion Sheraden Jays, and the Double A Champion Bandidos.  The Bakery Square Bandidos (1) retained most of their championship team from last year, and finished the season on a 12 game winning streak behind the steady leadership of John Friend.  The Sheraden Jays (8) also feature the return of many of their top players from a year ago under the leadership of longtime manager Rick Helterbran.

Competition was tight at the top of AA this season as five teams were vying for the top seed until the final two days of the regular season.  The South Side Eagles (2) finished second in their 15th season in the Pittsburgh NABA.  Tom Ondek, CEO of Ondek Bats and extraordinary gentleman, is attempting to bring home a championship to the Eagles, who are the longest tenured NABA team without a title.  The Bauerstown Grizzlies (3) established themselves as a consistently professional group of young talent under the leadership of Joe Zangaro.  This is only the second season the Grizzlies have played in AA after being the single A runner-ups in 2016.  The Hebrew Oilers (4) will look to Bret Miller in an attempt to claim their first ever title after an impressive regular season campaign.  The two time Champion (2003, 2010), and NABA founding franchise South Oakland Ducks (5) had an up and down season, but remain a top competitor under the steady hand of 16-year vet, and professional wordsmith Ben Gwin.  Ben Gwin was offered the contract for writing these previews, but politely declined by tweet through his agent.

Six other teams wil compete for the AA title including former NABA champions Pittsburgh D2 (6) (2016, managed by Denny Joyce),  Devils (7) (A-2011, managed by Rich Rodi), and the Express (9) (A-2010, managed by Garrett Turzak).  Resident league statisician, AAA Commissioner, and annual HBP leader Andy Germani will once again lead Cranberry (10) on their quest for NABA glory.  Dave Heineman will cast his best spell on his young group of talented ballplayers as the second year Sorcerers (11) look to upset the establishment of the Double A league and make a postseason run in 2018.


A Preview - Single A will see a new Champion in 2018 as the previous Champions have all moved up to AA and beyond.  All six teams are expansion teams since 2011 and one will claim their first-ever Pittsburgh NABA Championship.  The North American Lions (est. 2012) earned the top seed behind the steady leadership of Nick Buchser.  A strong core of Mason Murray, Kenneth DiBucci, Daniel O'Leary, and Ben Wolford will make the 2018 Lions favorites for their first Championship.

The Monongahela Monsters (est. 2013), West View Frogmen (2015), and Three Rivers Mariners (2015) round out an impressive top four teams at the Single A level.  The Monsters feature veterans Mike Johnston, Chris Scheyer, and Andrew Stefanik, and are led by skipper Jeff Liggett.  The Frogmen are led by a young core including three Serpa brothers (Adam, Mike and Robert) and veteran manager Mike Vevers.  The only team to boast more of a family connection than the Frogmen are the Mariners, led by Sean O'Malley.  The Mariners feature four Pappalardo brothers (Brandon, Bryce, Eric, and Justin), two Camello brothers (Johnny and Frank), and three O'Malley brothers (Sean, Chris, and Mike).  Along with Liam Coglan, Jon Dray, and Justin Gorgacz, this team has improved from the team that was a win away from the Championship Series in 2017.

Sean Cammarata will lead the Senators (2011) once again into the playoffs as the fifth seed while the expansion Moon Area Patriots, managed by Paul Elfen, will enter as the sixth seed.  Both teams will seek to put their regular season's behind them in the quest for a championship.


7/19 - The 16th annual Pittsburgh NABA Postseason Tournment is set to begin on July 20th.  Website and bracket linked below will be updated daily with results, recaps, and updated game schedules.  Check back tomorrow for a preview of each league!

Handout: Playoffs