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Last weekend saw the UCL Capitals Baseball Team bring a large squad to Farnham Park, Slough, to compete in the National University Baseball Championships. The team went into the tournament with high hopes, having placed 3rd in two previous National Championships, including the most recent one. The group stage was for the most part a formality as UCL breezed past several teams with the best run difference in the tournament. The first three matches finished with the following scores:

Game 1: Goldsmiths 0 - 20 UCLU Capitals

Game 2: UCLU Capitals 7 - 0 Essex Arrows

Game 3: Nottingham 2 - 9 UCLU Capitals

This was enough to see UCL go through to the playoffs regardless of the score of the final match. UCL rested some key players for the final game against Durham 2s, but still put in a very solid offensive performance winning 22 - 0.  The semi-finals saw Durham 1s put a good performance in a close match. UCL finally broke through with momentum putting 7 runs on the scoreboard against Durham, defeating them 7 - 4 in the end.

The final was a tense affair. UCL had already defeated Durham 1s, but were unaware of who they would play in the final, given that UEA Blue Sox were on the brink of causing an upset, as they were tying with the tournament favourite, Loughborough 1s. The match went to extra innings, delaying the start of the final itself. Loughborough eventually struggled through to the final, but at the cost of their first-choice pitcher’s arm. A lethargic starter managed to hold his own through several innings against a determined UCL offense. UCL starter Gordon Chau also managed to hold Loughborough back. The match was scoreless through 4, becoming a tense pitching duel, before UCL finally gained momentum with some confusion over baserunners. UCL scored a single run and managed to defend it through a tense final half innings. The match ended with a final out with a bench invasion from UCL’s substitutes as UCL celebrated their first ever National Championship. 

Tournament MVP was Tatsuma Otani. Despite not being in the starting team at the beginning of the tournament, a string of big hits and two great catches in the final saw Tatsuma lead the Capitals to the Championship. It was also the perfect send off for many players who are in their last year at the club, including President Jonathan Cheng and Former President, current Vice President and Softball Captain Wilfred Pledger, who finally ended a Championship draught after years of hard work at the club.