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College baseball: Saint Mary’s defeats Gonzaga for WCC Championship

Jackson Thoreson’s three-run homer to right-center highlighted a six-run second inning Saturday as Saint Mary’s (33-23) won the West Coast Conference Baseball Championship with a 13-4 win over Gonzaga in Stockton, California.

Cameron Neff (6-3) checked Gonzaga (35-19) on five hits and two earned runs over six innings, striking out eight and walking three. The Gaels earned an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.

Jace VanDeBrake hit a two-run homer in the fifth for the Bulldogs, who will await word on Monday to see if they receive an at-large berth to the NCAA tourney.

Daulton Jefferies (7-0) and Alex Schick combined on a one-hitter, striking out 10, as California (31-21, 13-16 Pac-12) cruised past host Washington State 7-0 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

The Cougars (19-34, 11-18) were limited to J.J. Hancock’s two-out double in the third.

Denis Karas and Brian Celsi drove in two runs apiece for the Bears, who knotted the season-ending, three-game series heading in to Sunday’s finale.

AJ Young’s two-run single snapped an 8-all tie in the seventh and DaShawn Keirsey Jr. followed with a two-run double as Utah (24-27, 18-11) clinched at least a share of the Pac-12 title with a 12-8 win over Washington (32-20, 17-12) in Salt Lake City.

John Naff finished 3 for 5 with three RBIs for the Huskies, who can earn the conference’s automatic NCAA berth by defeating the Utes on Sunday to complete the regular season.

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