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USC beats Cal to earn its ninth straight win and a spot in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Freshman Brayden Dowd hit his first career home run before finishing with four RBIs, Josh Blum threw two innings of scoreless relief for his 10th save and USC beat California 7-4 on Friday to earn its ninth straight victory and a spot in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game.

USC (31-27), which advanced past pool play for the first time in program history on Thursday, will play either Stanford or top-seeded Arizona for the final Pac-12 title on Saturday.

California (36-19) had the bases loaded with no outs in the third inning before USC starter Tyler Stromsborg struck out Rodney Green Jr. and got Peyton Schulze to hit into a double play.

USC went ahead in the fourth when Dowd sent a three-run shot over the right-field wall for a 3-2 lead. Dowd added an RBI ground out in the sixth.

Cal tied the game at 4-all with two runs in the seventh, but USC put a pair on in the bottom half before Austin Overn brought one home with a sacrifice fly.

USC added two insurance runs when Dean Carpentier tripled home a run in the eighth and scored on a single by Ryan Jackson.

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports

Article Topic Follows: Ap California News

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