This weekend, the ASU baseball team plays a three game series with the Oregon Ducks. All the games will be played in Tempe.
This is a big series for ASU. In fact, every series (actually every game) from here on out is a big one. Right now, this ASU baseball team is “on the bubble” in regards to making the post-season.
The collective wisdom of college baseball people claim that ASU needs to win 6 of these last 11 games. Who knows for sure, but it also depends on how other bubble teams perform down the stretch. In reality, to be safe, they probably need to win 8 of their last eleven games. That really puts their backs against the wall.
It doesn’t help that this weekend, they clash with the Oregon Ducks, who are having a good season and are one of the best teams in the PAC-12 conference. The Ducks are playing good baseball and appear very confident and business-like as they move towards the end of the season.
ASU will have to approach this series as if it is playoff baseball. Because in a sense, it is. Even though the schedule gets a little easier after this weekend, losing this series with Oregon will put them in a tough spot. They need to play out the season with confident resolve, not desperation.
However, baseball being the mental game that it is, coach Tim Esmay cannot get his team too wound up. He’s got to find that zone of promoting urgency, yet playing and acting loose in the dugout. It’s not easy. But it is absolutely necessary for ASU to play their best baseball right now.