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ASU Baseball: Sun Devils fail to qualify for NCAA regional tournament

ASU falls short in qualifying for an NCAA regional bid

Zac BonDurant

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State (32-23, 16-13 Pac-12) failed to qualify for a NCAA Men’s College World Series regional position Monday. The Sun Devils did not hear their name called in the selection show on ESPN 2 Monday, which selected 64 division I program’s for a chance to play in Omaha, Neb. for the National Championship.

The phenomenal first half of the Sun Devil season was not enough for the selection committee to justify a limping final stretch of regular season games for ASU. The Sun Devils lost their last nine of 12 games to conclude the regular season. Three of the last four conference series opponents qualified for a regional bid.

Arizona State entered the Pac-12 conference tournament as the fifth seed after shifts in the conference standings in the final two weeks of conference play. Entering the penultimate conference play week, the Sun Devils were tied for second place in the Pac-12.

After a 1-1 record in the conference tournament which saw the Sun Devils produce and lopsided win and a lopsided loss, the hopes of qualifying for a regional position fell at the mercy of an at-large bid.

The selection committee’s RPI (rating percentage index) had Arizona State as the 52nd highest rated team in the nation entering Monday. The RPI takes into considering the quality of wins and losses based on the strength of schedule of teams across the nation. With the Sun Devils having a high RPI due to quality wins towards the beginning of the season, one can only assume the eye test is what ultimately bit ASU.

The play of Arizona State down the stretch was not convincing enough in the selection committee’s eyes to grant an at-large bid for a shot at postseason baseball in Willie Bloomquist’s eventful second season as head coach.