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.
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.