Loughborough beats the rain to win fifth university baseball title

Tue 9 Oct 2018

Loughborough University overcame both the weather and most of their opponents at the 2018 Autumn National University Baseball Championship on the weekend of 6-7 October at Farnham Park to win their fifth national university baseball title.

In doing so, Loughborough took the crown back from the Spring 2018 champions Durham University, who were only able to finish in seventh place this time around.

Twelve teams took part in the competition after the late withdrawal of Coventry University.  The University of Brighton played their games over the weekend, but the results did not count towards the championship due to the team fielding ineligible players, and Brighton finished in 12th place as a result.

This meant that 11 universities were playing to win the title:

Durham University
University of East Anglia
University of Hull
Imperial College London
University of Kent
University College London
Loughborough University
University of Nottingham
University of Oxford
Queen Mary University of London
University of Southampton
 

Rain stops play

Games began at 10.00 am on Saturday morning and both of the first two games were completed.

But the rains came during the second round of matches and play was suspended around 1.15 pm, then later called off for the day.

This meant Sunday’s games being rescheduled with shorter game slots – but fortunately the weather co-operated on Sunday and the tournament was able to be played to a conclusion, thanks to the sterling efforts of BaseballSoftballUK ground staff, who were on site at 6.30 on Sunday morning to recover the fields for play.


Results

The teams had started in three round-robin groups, and the group winners, all undefeated, were Oxford, Nottingham and Queen Mary University, with Loughborough only able to finish as runners-up in the Green group after a 6-2 loss to Queen Mary.

Blue group winner the University of Oxford faced Green group winner Queen Mary University in one semi-final, with Oxford prevailing by a score of 12-7.

The other semi-final was a local derby between Loughborough and Red group winners Nottingham, and Loughborough squeaked home by 5-3.

In the final, Loughborough eased out to a 5-0 lead, only to see Oxford rally and cut the margin to 5-4.  But Loughborough pulled away after that, and the final score was 10-4.

The University of Nottingham took third place on a coin toss after their bronze medal game with Queen Mary University finished 8-8.

Final standings

Final standings were:

1 – Loughborough
2 – Oxford
3 – Nottingham
4 – Queen Mary
5 – University College London
6 – Southampton
7 – Durham
8 – Kent
9 – Hull
10 –East Anglia
11 – Imperial College
12 – Brighton


Umpires

A big thanks goes out to the umpires who helped ensure that the tournament was completed and well officiated:  Darrin Muller, Rich Brown, Ethan Attwood, Alan Newell, Will Zucker and Liam Morrison.

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