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ASU Baseball: Sun Devils eliminated from NCAA tournament with 5-4 loss to Sacramento State

Arizona State baseball lost 5-4 to Sacramento State in an elimination game Saturday afternoon (Photo taken via screenshot of live feed from ESPN3).

The Sun Devils didn't go down without a fight.

Arizona State baseball trailed by three runs in the ninth inning against Sacramento State in a regional elimination game, scored twice, battled back and put the tying run on third base with two outs in the ninth inning.

The stage was set. Redshirt junior outfielder Trever Allen was at the plate against Hornets' closer Alex Palsha. The Sun Devils trailed 5-4 with runners on second and third. There were two outs in the inning, full count to Allen.

The curveball from Palsha dropped into the zone. The umpire punched out Allen and punched Arizona State's bus ticket home. Game over. 5-4 Hornets.

It was the first tournament win in the Hornets' history, and a heartbreaking loss for the Sun Devils. But no heartbreaking loss is complete without some drama.

The game seemed to be over in the eight inning when Arizona State pitchers could not find a way to retire any Hornets. Sophomore righties Jordan Aboites and Ryan Burr combined to pitch a rough inning, in which they allowed three runs, including a bases-loaded walk.

Then the ninth inning saw some hope. Sophomore RJ Ybarra was called off the bench to pinch hit with a runner on first base, and tattooed it over the wall to bring the Sun Devils within one with nobody out. Juniors Drew Stankiewicz and Jake Peevyhouse each singled, then a fielder's choice brought Allen to the plate against Palsha.

Palsha won the battle, and that was all she wrote for Arizona State.

The Sun Devils finished the season 33-24 failed to win a tournament game, going 0-2 en route to elimination. They joined Clemson and Florida State as perennial contenders who disappointed in their respective regionals.