Top-seeded Arizona State won't be anxious to make a trip to South Carolina anytime soon.
The Sun Devils are going home after two straight losses in Omaha, both to schools in the Palmetto State: Clemson by a score of 6-3 and South Carolina by 11-4.
Arizona State seemed to have a clear path through the bracket in Omaha with all of the other top eight seeds, other than No. 6 UCLA, already eliminated. But the pressure was just too much.
It just proved that anything goes once you get to Omaha. Well, anything but the top seed winning the national championship, apparently.
That hasn't happened since Miami took home the crown in 1999.
Things were thrown out of whack for the Sun Devils to start off the CWS when their opening-round game was moved to Monday morning. Of course, that didn't seem to affect things for Clemson.
Then, they got perhaps the worst news yet: They would be facing losers' bracket warriors South Carolina. Read the write-up about South Carolina's losers' bracket success .
A game after Sun Devils ace Seth Blair dropped his first game of the season, the pitching staff made that performance look like one of Blair's usual gems.
The Gamecocks blew the game wide open in the second inning, with a slew of hits and a pair of home runs. Jackie Bradley Jr. (three-run) and Adrian Morales (two-run) each homered in the inning.
The next inning, Arizona State's pitching couldn't find its mark again. This time, the Sun Devils gave up two runs on a walk and hit batter with the bases loaded.
The Sun Devils couldn't get any offense going until the fifth inning, when Deven Marrero led off the inning with a double. Austin Barnes and Drew Maggi hit back-to-back RBI singles to finally put the Sun Devils on the board.
But it is almost impossible for anyone to dig out of a 10-run hole, even the top team in the land.
The Sun Devils had a chance the next inning with runners on first and second, but a double play quickly killed the rally.
They threatened once more in the eighth inning, when they loaded the bases. But the Sun Devils only got two more across the plate.
South Carolina's Whit Merrifield added a solo shot for good measure in the bottom half just in case. But it wouldn't be needed.
It was the story of Arizona State's trip to the CWS. The Sun Devils weren't able to force their dominance as they had all season long.
In fact, it was the only time this season that they dropped two straight games.
You can chalk it up to the CWS No. 1 seed curse. You can blame the state of South Carolina, if you want.
But the No. 1 team in the land just got flat outplayed on Tuesday.
It's nothing to be ashamed of, though. It just seems to be the CWS tradition.
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