Sun Devils set to host Clemson in NCAA super regional

Posted: Updated:

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- One year ago this month, Arizona State blew a trip to the College World Series by losing an NCAA super regional to underdog Fresno State, the eventual national champion.

Jason Kipnis hasn't forgotten.

Indeed, the junior outfielder has used the pain of that defeat to inspire him as the Sun Devils (47-12) prepare to play host to Clemson (44-20) in the best-of-three super regional that begins Saturday night in Tempe.

ASU fell as a third seed last year. This time they're the fifth seed, and they're making their third straight super regional appearance, all at home.

The Sun Devils advanced by sweeping three games with Kent State and Oral Roberts last weekend at Packard.

Now they are two victories away from their 21st College World Series appearance -- and a chance to end the 28-year drought since the school's last national championship.

Last year, the Sun Devils seemed primed to grab a College World Series berth. But after drubbing Fresno State 12-4 in the opener, ASU dropped the next two games.

This time, ASU is on a roll with wins in 14 of the last 15 games including four shutouts.

Game 2 of the Tempe Regional is Sunday night and the final game on Monday afternoon, if necessary.