The weekend of 10th-11th October saw the Loughborough Students’ Softball & Baseball Club’s 1st team, the Thunderbirds, travel down to Farnham Park to compete in the first National University Baseball Championships of the 2015/16 season. As defending champions the Thunderbirds came to London with a team finely balanced between experienced veterans and talented freshers.
Thunderbirds 13-3 Southampton University Mustangs A home run from GB International Jacob Dean in his first at-bat as a Thunderbird as well as 2 Triples from Club President Luke Stott. Kyle Pyne-James pitched 3 innings, giving up only 3 runs.
Thunderbirds 6-5 Leeds Carnegie
After a strong resurgence from Leeds Carnegie the Thunderbirds manage to edge a 6-5 win, topping their pool. Jack Gillott pitched 3 innings to get the win for the Thunderbirds and was dominant in the first few frames as Loughborough raced into a commanding 6-1 lead. Carnegie came back strongly and in the final inning had the bases loaded with nobody out, the score at 6-5. Fresher, Charlie Mayhew came in to pitch for Gillott and Carnegie couldn’t find an answer to the left-hander as Mayhew saved the game with a well time strikeout.
Thunderbirds 13-4 Imperial College Falcons
The Thunderbirds beat The Imperial College Falcons 13-4 to secure a place in the final against Leeds Carnegie with a very strong collective performance. Mayhew pitched the entire game for Loughborough earning the win in what has turned out to be a bumper recruitment year for starting pitching.
National University Baseball Championship Final
Thunderbirds 12-0 Leeds Carnegie
Loughborough Thunderbirds retained their title with a 12-0 win over Leeds Carnegie in large part thanks to Dean who threw 5 no-hit innings to shut Leeds Carnegie out in the final. Dean was backed by timely hitting from all over the Loughborough line up and a good defensive play from Stott. Loughborough their third title of 2015 having previously won the 2015 Spring National University Baseball Championships and the M1ST tournament in February.
The Thunderbirds will be hosting several Baseball games this year as part of the Northern University Baseball League and M1ST 2016 (20th/21st February), a tournament that looks set to become the largest University Baseball Tournament ever held in the UK.