Top 5 ACC Pitching Performances – Opening Weekend

Kyle Funkhouser - ACC

Photo Louisville Athletics

The ACC has no shortage of pitching talent this year and the opening weekend of baseball was a true testament to that. Some of the league’s top pitchers were back at it in their first start of the season but they weren’t alone in throwing gems.

Kyle Funkhouser, Louisville Cardinals

The junior didn’t waste any time as a member of the ACC, allowing only one hit while striking out 12 over seven innings in Louisville’s 5-1 win over Alabama State on opening night. The 12 strikeouts tied a career high, as Funkhouser retired the last 20 batters he faced.

Parker Dunshee, Wake Forest Demon Deacons

After posting a 2.17 ERA in 49 2/3 innings as a reliever during his freshman season, Dunshee made the move into the rotation this year and made a gem of a start in his first outing as a starter.

Pitching against VCU, the sophomore threw 8 1/3 innings of one hit baseball while striking out 11 batters in the process. Dunshee had to be on top of his game as the Demon Deacons’ offense only managed one run against the Rams.

Enrique Sosa, Miami Hurricanes

Like Dunshee, Sosa is making the move from the bullpen to the rotation but has spent the last two year’s there as oppose to one. Sosa was used sparingly in his first two years as a reliever, pitching in only 22 1/3 innings as a freshman and sophomore.

If he pitches like he did in his first appearance over the weekend, you can plan on seeing more of Sosa. In 5 1/3 innings, Sosa struck out ten batters while only allowing one-hit. The righty’s performance was a part of a dominant weekend performance by the starting rotation.

Photo - Virginia Athletics

Photo – Virginia Athletics

Nathan Kirby, Virginia Cavaliers

If things go to plan, expect to see the junior lefty on this list more times than not this season. A potential top five pick in the upcoming draft, Kirby emerged as one of the top pitchers in the nation last year – pitching an 18-strikeout no-hitter against the University of Pittsburgh.

He didn’t throw a no-hitter, but UVA will certainly take seven innings of three-hit baseball while striking out five batters. Kirby finished strong, retiring 12 of the last 14 batters he would go on and face.

Nick McCarthy, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Most of the time the focus is on the start of the series, as you get your best pitching matchup but sometimes it is up to the last member of the weekend rotation to decide whether or not the team wins the series or not.

Pitching the final game of their three game series against the Oklahoma Sooners, McCarthy pitched 7 2/3 innings of four hit baseball, allowing only an unearned run in the eighth inning.

It was a great start for the pitchers of the ACC and these five were the best of the bunch. Be sure to come back next week for the five best pitching performances of the second week of college baseball.

About the Author

Anthony Murphy
Anthony was born in Hawaii to a military family and has lived up and down the East Coast until settling in Virginia, where he has lived the majority of his life. He developed his love for baseball watching the Pirates play with his grandfather, soaking up his stories and knowledge of the game. There wasn’t a day during any of his summer break as a kid where he and his brother didn’t have a glove in their hand, even if it was just to play catch. While he has written on several websites about various other sports, baseball is his first true love in the sporting world. Anthony will be covering the University of Virginia and the rest of the ACC for College Baseball Central, and you can follow him on Twitter: A_Murphy88.