Durham Advances to NUBC Semifinals

FARNHAM PARK, Bucks. — Durham University won two-of-three group games on the first day of the 2016 Autumn National University Baseball Championship. Victories over Imperial College London and the University of East Anglia guaranteed the Palatinates a place in the semifinals on Day Two.

Durham opened with an easy 21-5 victory over Imperial College, the second rout over the hapless Londoners in the last two national tournaments. After a brief rest, however, Durham had a real test of its baseball mettle as they took on No. 1-ranked and three-time NUBC Champions Loughborough University.

In a game that was hard-fought until the end, the Thunderbirds prevailed over Durham, 8-7. The gracious victors described the game as “by far the best university game we’ve ever played!”

Needing a victory to guarantee over an always tough University of East Anglia to guarantee a place in the semis, the two clubs faced off for a pitching duel. With the outcome up for grabs till the end, the Black-and-Purple notched a 5-1 victory.

“[The day] went really well,” remarked club secretary Ben Turner. “Our hitting in the first two games was incredible.”

Durham will take on Group A victors University College London (3-0 in the autumn season) at 11:30 GMT. The Capitals finished third in the spring NUBC, their best ever finish since being founded in 2010. They completed 2015-16 with a 2-4 record which hardly reflects the level at which they played. Two of their losses were to national champions Loughborough, while they also had to face No. 2 University of Southampton. This time, they outscored opponents 29-11, defeating Leeds Beckett University and the University of Nottingham easily, sandwiched around an impressive 10-4 win over Southampton.

The winner will take on the winner of the Loughborough and Southampton contest, which features Britain’s top two baseball universities. Loughborough is riding a 25-game winning streak dating back to the start of the 2015-16 season, while the Mustangs finished in second place in the spring title bout. Both the championship match and the third place game occur at 14:30 GMT at Farnham Park.

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About Gabriel Fidler

Extra Innings UK covers baseball around the world, focussing on the sport at the national team level, with features on prominent players, scouting reports, and occasional breaking news. We are fully credentialled by MLB and have covered the World Baseball Classic, continental championships, and the U.S. minor leagues.
This entry was posted in British University Baseball, DU Baseball, Game Recaps, National University Baseball Championship, Tournaments and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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