This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Utah Utes hope one of their most inspiring wins of the baseball season becomes irrelevant, when they look back. The weird thing about Utah's 6-5 win at California late Monday night is the Utes still need two wins over Washington in a three-game series at Smith's Ballpark this weekend to secure the Pac-12 championship and NCAA automatic bid. And even if they had lost Monday, the Utes (17-10) could have won an outright conference title and advanced to the NCAAs with two wins over the Huskies (16-11). The victory in Berkeley, via Kody Davis' two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning, does mean that Utah needs only one win over Washington to clinch at least a share of the conference title. But the Huskies would own the tiebreaker if they took two of three games, and the Utes' overall record (23-26) is not good enough for an NCAA at-large bid. Arizona State (15-12) mathematically can tie for the championship, but the Sun Devils fell to both Washington and Utah in their season series and will need an at-large bid, regardless of how they do against USC this weekend. The Utah-Washington series is scheduled for noon starts Friday, Saturday and Sunday. – Kurt Kragthorpe