In the Triple-A South Division, the league winners and #1 seeds, Norwich Iceni, rolled over the #6 seed Kent Mariners 17-2.
The #2 seed, the Guildford Millers, had a similarly easy time against the #5 seed Essex Archers, winning by 15-14.
There was a slight upset when the #3-seeded London Musketeers took on the #4-seeded Cambridge Monarchs and it was the Monarchs who prevailed in a closely-fought 7-4 encounter. But both teams had finished the regular season with the same record, so this was always going to be anyone’s game.
Finally, the Northants Centurions, winners of the Single-A Central Division, overcame the second-place Birmingham Outlaws 19-12.
At the semi-finals on 16 September, the Cambridge Monarchs, seeded fourth, will line up against the top seed Norwich Iceni, while the third-seeded Guildford Millers will take on the second-seeded Northants Centurions.
The Single-A Championship Game will be played on Sunday 17 September.
Here is how the quarter-final games went.
The third and fourth seeds in the Single-A South Division clashed at Finsbury Park for a ticket to the National Championship weekend, and the encounter was dominated by the Monarchs’ pitcher/catcher combo, Moses Tannenbaum and Edvinas Dubickas, who were able to keep London’s explosive bats in check and launch the Monarchs into their first Single-A semi-final.
The Monarchs were up 2-0 by the end of the first inning, almost batting though their line-up against London starter Fayyaz Muneer. Xavier Tait and Edvinas Dubickas scored on a double by Dan Sewell.
Cambridge almost went through the line-up again in the top of the third inning, putting another two runs on the board thanks to a double from Moses Tannenbaum that drove in Daniel Straw and Dan Sewell.
The Monarchs continued to add on during the middle part of the game. Xavier Tait scored in the top of the fourth inning to stretch the Cambridge lead to 5-0, and the lead became 7-0 in the top of the seventh inning when Moses Tannenbaum drove in Daniel Straw and Dan Sewell scored on a groundout by Edward Lopes.
But that’s when the Musketeers’ fight-back began, with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jordan Fennell took advantage of a wild pitch to score London’s first run and Jonty Richardson punished a defensive error by Cambridge to make it 7-2.
The Musketeers continued to narrow the gap in the eighth inning. Following a hit-by-pitch, Jon Stone scored on a sacrifice fly from Douglas McDougall and James Garnham’s RBI single brought in Jamie Ainsworth to make the score 7-4.
But that was as far as the Londoners could get, and it was the Monarchs who extended their season to the Single-A National Championship weekend at Farnham Park.
Cambridge ace Moses Tannenbaum picked up the crucial win, giving up just four hits and striking out 13.
Cambridge Manager Xavier Tait said: “We’ve always wanted to play at Farnham, and earning it against the Musketeers is a great achievement. They fight hard and bring out our best baseball. We’ll have to crank it up a notch for the Nationals, but we’re pumped up and really looking forward to it!”