(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Arizona State (34-21, 16-14) fell to USC (28-28, 15-15) 31-9, snapping the Sun Devils’ six-series win streak.
For most of the season, it’s been the third spot in the weekend rotation that has spelled doom for Tracy Smith’s team – that narrative held true today.
Eli Lingos got the start and didn’t record an out for the second consecutive start, while the next six pitchers combined to retire just 10 batters.
Overall, nine pitchers combined to give up 30 hits and 30 earned runs, allowing the Trojans to score in every inning but the seventh and the ninth.
The Sun Devils hadn’t given up 20 runs since the 1998 College World Series, when they fell 21-14 to none other than the USC Trojans in Omaha.
The 31 runs were the most Arizona State has ever allowed in a game, breaking the record of 29 set in 1986.
With the loss, all hope of ASU hosting an NCAA Regional dissipated, yet, the Sun Devils will still live to fight another day after finishing the season at 34-21 overall.
ASU finishes tied with Arizona and Oregon State for third in the Pac-12 behind Utah and Washington at 16-14.
Player of the Game: Timmy Robinson, CF, USC
While Robinson’s domination of the Sun Devil staff was nothing out of the ordinary on Sunday, his performance led the way for the Trojans’ offense. Robinson reached base five times in the contest, compiling four hits and two walks to go with four RBI’s and five runs. A good way to go out for the senior.
Biggest Concern: Bullpen Pitching
Surprise, surprise. Arizona State’s lack of secondary pitching caught up to them on Sunday – Smith deployed nine pitchers, not one of them able to pitch for longer than 3.0 innings. Aside from Seth Martinez and Eder Erives, Arizona State has lacked any sort of consistency from both its starters as well as its relievers.
After finishing 34-21, Arizona State has earned a regional berth. The opponent and location will be decided on Monday at 9 a.m. local time.