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NC State Leaning on Underclassmen Arms in Early Non-Conference Play

(Photo via @NCStateBaseball on X / Twitter)

Coming into the 2024 Season, the buzz around NC State Baseball was largely due to a reloaded pitching staff, looking to showcase a depth the Wolfpack haven't had for years. What we've seen so far goes deeper than that - the underclassmen are specifically the ones pulling the sled. Don't let this surprise you though. It appears to be by design. Of the 61 Innings thrown by the pitching staff, 43 of those have come from freshmen or sophomore arms.

My theory is this: Head Coach Elliott Avent and Pitching Coach Clint Chrysler are rolling with a 'Trial By Fire' gameplan. In these early non-conference games, NC State is able to simply win games with offense more often than not. Banking on this approach, they've rolled out a plethora of unproven arms, hungry for experience at the college level.

However, this approach must come with an understanding of a slow burn. You admire the raw talent, and live with the young mistakes. The inexperience has certainly shown itself to a certain degree. The Wolfpack's Walks Per 9 Innings through 2 weekends was staggeringly bad: 7.23 BB/9. This is a number they can only manage to get away with in late February. When you're still finding ways to win the majority of these games, you can reasonably justify it.

We've seen the emergence of immediate impact guys - Jacob Dudan, Jaxon Lucas, Shane Van Dam & Ryan Marohn. We've also seen a few others that may slot into continued developmental roles - Cooper Consiglio, Chance Mako, Heath Andrews & Camden Wimbish. Regardless, NC State's aggressive approach for their young pitchers will likely pay dividends as the season progresses. With the calendar flipping into the month of March, ACC Play is suddenly just one week away. But first, another weekend of opportunity for the youth movement to continue.

The Wolfpack will host Towson this weekend for a 4 Game Series at Doak Field. With an extra weekend game, it will certainly be interesting to see who rises up to take advantage of their opportunities on the mound.

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