The Sun Devils (23-26, 8-16 Pac-12) play their final home series of the season against No. 19 Arizona (33-17, 12-12) with the Territorial Cup Series point at stake.
Perhaps more importantly, the Sun Devils are fighting to avoid what would be only the second losing season in the program’s 59-year history.
ASU and UA split two non-conference games this season, both in Tucson, with ASU losing 11-2 on April 4 and winning 14-13 on May 9.
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The Sun Devils already have clinched a fourth straight undisputed Territorial Cup Series title, leading 10.5 points to 8.5. ASU went 3-2 against UA from 2014-16.
Sun Devils need strong finish
To avoid its first losing season since 1985, ASU must finish at least 5-1 against UA and at Utah.
The Sun Devils are coming off a 2-2 trip to Washington that included a 6-4 comeback win over Seattle on Tuesday. 3B Jeremy McCuin has seven hits in the last three games. Freshman Myles Denson has played left field in the last four games.
The trip also was marked by the end of ASU’s 54-year streak of winning at least 30 games with a 4-0 defeat at Washington on Sunday.
Wildcats angling for postseason
UA won their last two games at College of Charleston to take that non-conference series. The Wildcats are seeking to clinch a berth in the NCAA Tournament to compete for a return trip to the College World Series.
The Wildcats are home against California after playing ASU before the 64-team NCAA field is announced May 29.
1B JJ Matijevic is hitting .402 with 10 home runs, 57 RBI and a .672 slugging percentage. Pitcher JC Cloney is 7-1 with a 2.64 ERA. UA last won the rivalry series in 2013 (3-2).
Arizona at Arizona State
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Where: Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
TV: Pac-12 Network.
Radio: KDUS-AM (1060).
Friday, May 26 – ASU at Utah, 10:30 a.m., Pac-12 Networks
Saturday, May 27 – ASU at Utah, 10:30 a.m., Pac-12 Networks
Sunday, May 28 – ASU at Utah, 10:30 a.m., Pac-12 Networks
Tuesday: ASU baseball 6, Seattle 4
Arizona State scored four runs in the seventh inning to rally past host Seattle for a 6-4 win on Tuesday.
The Sun Devils were led by Jeremy McCuin, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and Zach Cerbo, who had a 2-for-3 night with a home run and two walks.
ASU (23-26) returns to Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Thursday to open a three-game series against rival Arizona (33-17). The Sun Devils and Wildcats split a pair of non-conference games earlier this season.
The Sun Devils need to win six of their final seven games to avoid their first losing season since 1985 and second in school varsity history (not including 2007 when 44 wins were vacated due to NCAA sanctions).