As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end,” and on Sunday, Arizona State’s streak of 54 consecutive 30-win seasons was snapped.
The end result of the weekend for the Sun Devils (22-26, 8-16) was a series loss to the Washington Huskies (26-22, 12-12), giving ASU its seventh series loss in conference play against eight Pac-12 opponents.
Friday: Washington 4, Arizona State 0
For the fourth time in the 2017 season and the third time against a conference foe on a Friday, the Sun Devils were shut out as they struggled with another Pac-12 Friday starter.
This time, the star of the evening was the Huskies’ junior starting pitcher, Noah Bremer. The right-hander struck out 10 and allowed just one hit, a single to junior Andrew Snow, in his complete game shutout.
ASU had just one at-bat all game with a runner in scoring position.
UW surged to a fast start with three first inning runs off of junior starting pitcher Eli Lingos. Eventually, Lingos would settle down, but he could not match Bremer as the ASU left-hander allowed four hits and four walks in five innings.
Although the Sun Devils’ bullpen shut down the Huskies over the next three innings, the offense’s inability to do anything against Bremer eliminated any possibility of a comeback.
Saturday: Arizona State 8, Washington 5
Head coach Tracy Smith switched things up during the middle game of the series, giving sophomore Connor Higgins his first start of the season over other options with starting experience like senior Eder Erives or freshman Chaz Montoya.
Higgins was unable to capture the same magic that he has often displayed in relief this season, surrendering three earned runs in 3 and 2/3 innings and allowing six hits.
Junior Ryan Hingst, who started some games at the beginning of the season, picked up the win in five innings of relief, stabilizing ASU’s pitching after Higgins’ exit.
The Sun Devils’ offense did not wake up until the middle innings, but peaked in the seventh and eighth frames, when the team scored a combined total of four runs. The youthful ASU lineup put forth a balanced effort, as six of the nine starters ended up driving in a run.
Snow and freshman Hunter Bishop led the way with two runs batted in apiece, while sophomore Jeremy McCuin delivered three hits out of the ninth spot in the order.
In addition, all nine starters in the lineup had at least one hit for ASU in the victory.
Sunday: Washington 4, Arizona State 0
It wasn’t just the final score that showed how similar the first and last game of the series were to one another, as the progressions of the two games were eerily similar.
Just like on Friday, the Huskies jumped out to an early lead that they had no trouble hanging on to. UW put up a three-spot in the second inning before adding a very early insurance run in the following frame.
ASU starter Spencer Van Scoyoc’s struggles on the mound continued on Sunday, but a positive sign for the freshman was that he only issued one walk in the 1 and 1/3 innings that he tossed. Van Scoyoc has now walked 31 hitters this season in 28 innings.
Erives piggybacked off of Van Scoyoc’s outing and put forth a similar outing as Hingst had the day before, giving up just one run in 5 and 2/3 innings.
Nevertheless, the ASU offense did not come to the rescue, although the Sun Devils did outhit the Huskies nine to six. Seven of ASU’s nine hits were singles.
The determining factor for the demise of the Sun Devils’ offense was its struggles with runners in scoring position. ASU went 0-for-12 on Sunday in that category. The Sun Devils also did not get a hit in two at-bats with a runner on third and less than two outs.
What's Next: The Washington road trip continues for the Sun Devils, as they will play Seattle University on Tuesday before returning home for the first time in two weeks to host a three-game set against the University of Arizona.