The Dream Is Over: Arizona State Baseball Eliminated In Omaha

In a flash, the dream is over.

A mere 36 hours after the first pitch was thrown, the Sun Devils are done after getting embarrassed 11-4 by South Carolina.

Two games and out. Elimination from the 2010 College World Series. Poof. Good luck next season.

The starting pitching -- for starters -- was awful. Seth Blair and Merrill Kelly combined to pitch six total innings, giving up 13 runs and 17 hits.

The duo was 22-2 headed to Omaha. In Tuesday's loss to USC, Kelly gave up eight runs in less than two innings. Ouch.

The offense wasn't much better, scoring only seven runs in two games. The top third of the lineup (Drew Maggi, Zack MacPhee and Kole Calhoun) combined to go 4-25 with just two RBI in both contests. After sparking the team all season, their flame dwindled quickly in the Omaha rain.

The stats are almost hard to fathom. This is a team that was 52-8 heading to Omaha and hadn't lost two consecutive games all season. Then everything falls apart and the top-seeded team in the country is ousted in the quickest manner possible.

What in the hell happened?

This year's team was supposed to end the drought and finally bring title number six back to Tempe and the suffering ASU faithful.

But once again, Tim Esmay's squad team will be lumped in there with all of Pat Murphy's talent-filled teams that failed to win it all.

And in the end, that's all that matters in Tempe: Winning national titles.

Sure, the 50-win seasons and repeat Pac-10 titles look good for the recruits and help draw attention to the program.

But the national perception of ASU is this: A storied program with five national titles that can't seem to win anymore when it really matters (the last title came in 1981).

From 1965 to 1969, the Sun Devils went to Omaha every other year. And they won each time.

Since 1972, ASU has been to the CWS 18 times, coming away with only two wins. While winning a title every year certainly isn't possible, breaking this 0-11 slump would certainly be nice.

Over the past six trips to Omaha, the Sun Devils are 6-8. The famed Rosenblatt Stadium hasn't been a kind venue to this program in recent years.

A new stadium is under construction and will host the CWS in 2011. Should the Devils make it back (and their chances are probably good) maybe the new stadium will help?

ASU should look for anything at this point to reverse their fortunes in the cornfields of Nebraska.

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Eric Smith
Contact: Eric Smith