It was more of the same this past weekend for Arizona State, which finished the season by getting swept at the hands of the Utah Utes.
The Sun Devils (23-32, 8-22 in Pac-12) won just one Pac-12 series and did not qualify for postseason play in a deeply disappointing and historically uncharacteristic season.
It is the first time ASU hasn't been in the post-season since 1999, with the lone exception of 2012, when it was on probation.
Friday: Utah 2, Arizona State 0
Senior starting pitcher Eder Erives finished his Sun Devil career on a high note, although the team's offense was not able to come through to help him out.
Despite giving up just one earned run in seven innings, Erives was charged with the loss, as ASU was shut out for the sixth time in 2017.
The Utes tagged the Sun Devils' starter for a run in each of the first two frames, but the first inning run was scored off of an error by junior shortstop Andrew Snow and was unearned.
Utah starter Jayson Rose (8-3) dominated the ASU offense all game long, but the Sun Devils had their chances nonetheless. A pair of opportunities with a runner on third base and less than two outs fell to the wayside, and ASU also did not score in the ninth inning after freshman first baseman Lyle Lin led off with a double. Utes’ closer Dylan Drachler put the finishing touches on the shutout.
Saturday: Utah 7, Arizona State 4
Four errors by ASU led to the Utes claiming a second straight victory during the weekend.
ASU got off to a hot start, scoring three runs in the first inning when Lane hit a double with the bases loaded that brought in all three runners.
The score held until the bottom of the fifth, when a five run inning by the Utes led to seven unanswered runs. All five runs that were scored in that decisive fifth inning were against junior pitcher Eli Lingos.
Sophomore Connor Higgins surrendered the other two runs, but also came to the aid of the bullpen, pitching the final three and 2/3 innings while pitching solid for the most part.
The Sun Devils did not come close to a comeback until the ninth inning, when a wild pitch cut the deficit to three, but a fly out and a strikeout with two runners on ended the threat.
Sunday: Utah 11, Arizona State 10
In a game that would have ended after nine innings regardless of whether it was tied or not due to the Sun Devils' travel plans, Utah strung four consecutive hits to score two runs and end the game in the bottom of the final stanza.
Sunday served as a stark contrast from Friday, as both teams teed off in their final game of the season.
ASU hopped out to an early seven run lead in the first three innings, headlined by home runs by freshmen outfielder Hunter Bishop and designated hitter Nick Cheema, who was starting in his first game of the season.
However, the lead was short lived, as the Utes tagged junior starter Ryan Hingst for seven runs in the bottom of the third inning.
From then on, the teams traded leads, with the Sun Devils seemingly going ahead for good in the eighth inning on a RBI double by junior second baseman Andrew Snow and a RBI single by freshman pinch hitter Myles Denson.
Nevertheless, the lead was once again short-lived, as ASU failed to close out one of its worst and most tumultuous seasons ever on a positive note.