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BYU Baseball Crowned WCC Champions

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The No. 24 ranked BYU baseball team knocked off Santa Clara 3-1 and with the victory, clinched a share of the West Coast Conference regular season title.

Abraham Valdez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to give the Cougars the win over the Broncos.

“The guys really stepped up today and got it done,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “We got a great start from Justin (Sterner) and Abe came up huge. This was an incredibly tough series.”

BYU claimed their third conference title in the last four years. They are 36-15 overall and 19-8 in conference play.

The Cougars will await the results of Gonzaga and Loyola Marymount to determine which seed BYU will receive in the conference tournament.

If Gonzaga loses on Saturday or Sunday on the road against LMU, BYU will win the outright WCC title and claim the No. 1 seed in the tournament. But if the Bulldogs win both games, BYU and Gonzaga will finish with a tie for first place and the Cougars will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament.

Other than the ninth inning, each team scored one run in the second inning. Valdez hit his first home-run of his career in the ninth.

Reid McLaughlin pitched two innings and allowed zero earned runs and had two strikeouts to be named the winning pitcher.