N.C. State freshman ace Brian Brown turned in quite a performance in the Wolfpack’s opening ACC tournament game, a 3-0 win over Notre Dame. Brown, who doesn’t hit 90 on the radar gun, nonetheless kept the Irish off balance, striking out a career-high 10 batters in six innings. Brown also retired 13 of the last 15 batters he faced.
Once a 92-minute rain delay finally ended, the Wolfpack struck early, scoring two runs in the first and another in the second, all three runs coming with two outs (Joe Dunand, Ryne Willard and Andrew Knizner delivered the RBIs). Notre Dame’s best chance to score came in the second inning, when the Irish loaded the bases with one out. Brown struck out the next two batters, though – Ricky Sanchez went down on three pitches, the last an 87 mph fastball, and No. 9 hitter Kyle Richardson swung and missed on a 72 mph breaking ball.
Star of the game
Brown stole the show in his postseason debut. It was his second consecutive scoreless outing – a streak of 11.1 innings. In addition to his strong work to get out of a jam in the second inning, Brown also struck out the side in the third. His final line: six innings pitched, two hits, no runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts on 105 pitches (66 strikes).
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Notre Dame center fielder Kyle Richardson had the play of the game in the third inning, running backwards and diving to rob Dunand of a hit.
N.C. State has not lost this year when leading after four innings (22-0).
All nine of the Wolfpack hits were singles.