Durham claims first National University Baseball Championship title
Sun 16 Oct 2016
Eight university baseball teams descended on Farnham Park over the weekend of 8-9 October to contest the autumn edition of the 2016 National University Baseball Championships, and it was Durham University that emerged victorious to claim their first-ever title.
The eight teams were split into two groups of four and played out a round robin-format on Saturday.
In Group A, University College London (UCL) started their campaign with a comprehensive 9-1 win over the University of Nottingham while the University of Southampton edged out Leeds Beckett University by a single run, 6-5, in what proved to be a crucial victory in the group.
University College London then completed an impressive run in Group A by securing further wins over Southampton and Leeds Beckett to go undefeated and top the group. Southampton, after losing 10-4 to University College London, recovered to defeat Nottingham by a score of 11-2 and progressed as Group A runner-up. Leeds Beckett secured third place with an 11-3 victory over winless Nottingham.
In the opening games in Group B, Durham University kept the University of East Anglia (UEA) scoreless in a 5-0 victory, while perennial champions Loughborough University defeated Imperial College London 17-0.
Loughborough went on to overpower UEA by 11-2 before a single-run victory over Durham in the final match of the day gave them top spot in the group. Durham claimed second place after following their opening win over UEA by putting Imperial College London to the sword by 21-5. UEA also overcame Imperial College London, 12-5, to secure third spot in the group, leaving the London team winless in the round-robin stage.
In classification games on Sunday, UEA progressed courtesy of an 11-4 win over Nottingham, while Leeds Beckett went through after Imperial College withdrew due to transport issues.
In the fifth place playoff match, Leeds Beckett claimed a comfortable victory over UEA by a score of 8-2.
In the championship semi-finals, reigning champions Loughborough eased past Group A runner-up Southampton by a score of 8-2 and Durham overcame University College London 3-2 in a tense match that went to extra innings.
In the third place game, UCL finished the championship on a high, defeating Southampton 11-3.
That left the final to be played between undefeated Loughborough and Durham, and after an exciting game, it was Durham that emerged as winners, taking their first National University Baseball Championship title by a score of 3-2 and leaving Loughborough licking their wounds.
BaseballSoftballUK is looking to expand the number of universities with baseball and softball programmes during the current academic year. Hit the Pitch, BSUK’s national participation programme, is well-placed to support universities to achieve this.
For further information, please visit http://www.hitthepitch.com/hit-the-pitch/higher-education or contact National Development Manager Chris Rawlings on 07875-569267 or at email@example.com.