Durham hosts Ontario baseball finals

Durham Lords with their silver medals at the 2014 OCAA championships, which they hosted at Kinsmen Stadium in Oshawa.

Durham College will once again play host to the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association’s (OCAA) men’s baseball championships this year. The event will feature the top four teams in the OCAA and runs Oct. 19-20 at Kinsmen Stadium.

Durham also hosted the finals in 2014.

Since the championships started, Durham has won two silver medals, in 2013 and 2014. In 2016 and 2017 the college also played host to the Canadian Colleges Baseball National Championship, started by Durham College’s Director of Athletics Ken Babcock, placing third and fourth respectively.

The OCAA championships costs between $8,000 and $10,000 to host, according to Babcock.

“It’s based on a participation budget,” says Babcock. “That cost is then divided amongst the schools in the OCAA that participate in baseball, so every team contributes to the cost of the championship.”

Babcock says hosting the championships is important because it puts Durham in the provincial spotlight, and showcases the school. It’s also about the experience of hosting and playing.

“Hosting a championship and playing at home in a championship is really a tremendous experience,” Babcock says.

He also says Durham College excels at hosting championships, with a long tradition of doing so. According to Babcock, however, the college is taking a “lighter approach” with baseball being the only Ontario championship they’re hosting this school year.

But next year the college will be in the national spotlight when it hosts the 2019 Canadian college’s men’s soccer championship, to be played on the new artificial turf at Vaso’s Field at the north Oshawa campus.