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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah baseball clinched the outright Pac-12 championship Sunday, beating the Washington Huskies 21-7 in the final game of a three-game series to end the regular season.
With the win, Utah clinches an at-large bid to the NCAA regionals and is the first men’s team at the University of Utah to win a Pac-12 championship since joining the league.
Utah got off to a hot start in the first inning, scoring a quick five runs to take a 5-0 lead. DaShawn Keirsey and Cody Scaggari started the inning off with singles to left field, putting Keirsey on third and Scaggari on first base. Keirsey scored on a wild pitch, with Scaggari advancing to second base.
Following two quick outs and Scaggari advancing to third base, Hunter Simmons was walked and Andre Jackson was hit by a pitch before Josh Rose doubled to right field for a three-run RBI. A.J. Young then singled to center field, sending Rose home for the team’s fifth run of the inning.
Utah continued the assault in the third, seventh and eighth inning, adding an additional five runs in each inning to increase their lead over the Huskies for the blowout. Scaggari, too, hit a solo home run shot in the sixth inning.
Washington managed seven runs despite having 14 hits on the day, which was two less than Utah. Washington’s best inning came in the top of the eighth inning with bases loaded. The Huskies scored three runs on hits from John Naff, Willie MacIver and Josh Cushing.
Utah’s starting pitcher Josh Lapiana had a strong showing Sunday, pitching seven and a half innings for a total of 111 pitches. Lapiana had five strikeouts and four earned runs. Washington, however, struggled with its bullpen, cycling through eight pitchers throughout the game.
The NCAA selection committee will release the 16 regional sites Sunday at 5:30 p.m. The committee will then release a full bracket Monday at 10 a.m.