This past weekend, the ASU baseball team took a key series from Oregon. This was a significant series victory. Oregon is a good squad and one of the better teams in the PAC-12. Taking two out of three against them is crucial.
It’s especially important for the Sun Devils with the situation that they are in right now. Going into the series with the Ducks, ASU was looking at having to win at least 6 of their last 11 games. Devils in Detail believes they need to win 8 of those last eleven.
Regardless, going 2-1 against Oregon puts them in a favorable position for the mad dash to the end of the season and a playoff berth. It gives them momentum as they close the season with a favorable schedule.
First up is a game tonight in Las Vegas against UNLV. The Rebels are no slouch of a baseball team, but ASU needs to (and should) win that game. Then comes a three game series at home against Utah. The Sun Devils need to buckle down and sweep that series. ASU is more talented than the Utes and have something to play for. Utah does not.
Next week is a game at home against Abilene Christian, which ASU must win. And then it’s the season ending series at Washington State. The Cougars are not faring well this season and ASU needs to sweep that series as well.
That is their recipe for making the post-season; win out. ASU could (and should) go 8-0 to close out the season. They may not have to, but they should. It will give the selection committee no choice but to include the Sun Devils in the field of 64 teams to play in the NCAA regionals.
No small order–to win out. But it’s not an unattainable feat either, given the competition. Coach Tim Esmay has to convince his players that they are better than their opponents, yet instill a healthy respect for them and respect the process of winning. The Sun Devils need to “win” every at-bat and every pitch. The games will then take care of themselves.