Clemson 2023 baseball guide: Top players, TV schedule

Clemson Tigers head baseball coach Erik Bakich during the introductory press conference at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, June 16th, 2022.

Clemson Tigers head baseball coach Erik Bakich during the introductory press conference at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, June 16th, 2022.

Special to The State

Three days before the dawn of a new era, Clemson baseball coach Erik Bakich felt more like a parent three days before Christmas.

“You’re excited to watch the kids tear open the presents under the tree,” he said Wednesday. “It’s kinda the same feeling. Just the anticipation of something awesome.”

“Something awesome.” That’s what the Tigers, who open the 2023 season with a Friday-Saturday-Sunday home series against Binghamton, are in desperate need of after missing consecutive NCAA tournaments for the first time since 1985 and 1986.

Postseason qualification is the floor at Clemson, which reached the College World Series six times from 1995 to 2010, and two years without it spelled doom for former coach Monte Lee.

The university fired Lee after seven seasons last May and replaced him one month later with Bakich, 45, whose Michigan coaching résumé includes five NCAA tournament appearances in his last seven seasons and a 2019 College World Series runner-up finish to Vanderbilt.

At Clemson, Bakich is already embracing similar Omaha expectations. As are his players — even if the college baseball world at large isn’t. After a second straight losing season in ACC play, the Tigers are nowhere to be found in preseason top 25 rankings.

Clemson — which has appeared in nine regionals but zero super regionals since 2010 — was also voted to finish fifth among seven Atlantic Division teams in the ACC’s preseason poll.

“I try not to think about last year too much,” junior pitcher/first baseman Caden Grice said. “I think the goal is now. We start up Friday, and that’s the biggest thing for us.”

Here’s what else you need to know about the Tigers ahead of Opening Day, from their top returners to their continued football influence to their national TV schedule.

Clemson players huddle after an NCAA baseball game against South Carolina at Segra Park on Saturday, March 5, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. Clemson won 10-2. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford) Sean Rayford AP

Clemson baseball players to watch

The good news: Clemson players accounting for 59% of the team’s 2022 starts are back in 2023. The bad news: among the departing 41% are the 2022 ACC Player of the Year (infielder Max Wagner) and two weekend starting pitchers (Mack Anglin and Geoffrey Gilbert).

The Tigers’ most decorated returning hitters are junior infielder and reigning third team All-ACC selection Blake Wright, who hit .349 with 11 homers and 40 RBIs in 2022; and junior catcher Cooper Ingle, a preseason third team All-American by Perfect Game who hit a team-high .351 in 2022. Also keep an eye on senior outfielder Tyler Corbitt (.290).

At pitcher, junior lefty Ryan Ammons has all but secured Friday’s starting pitcher nod. A former closer, he was fourth in the ACC in saves with eight last year and had 40 strikeouts. Sophomore righty Billy Barlow (15 starts in 2022) is another starting candidate. Bakich also said that Tristan Smith, the team’s top incoming recruit, will quickly develop into a weekend starter, too.

Will Taylor
Clemson wide receiver Will Taylor (16) warms up before an NCAA college football game against North Carolina State Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Clemson, S.C. Jacob Kupferman AP

Will Taylor back on the field

A coaching change didn’t change things for Will Taylor, who will reprise his role as dual-sport athlete this spring. Taylor, a sophomore wide receiver/punt returner for the football team, hit .260 as a true freshman outfielder under Lee and will play the same position for Bakich.

The 5-foot-10 right-handed hitter has tantalizing talent: Coming out of Irmo’s Dutch Fork High School two years ago, he ranked as the No. 22 draft prospect nationally. Taylor very well may have been a first-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft had he not opted to play in college.

But football injuries have put a damper on his baseball impact. Taylor missed the first 45 games of his freshman baseball season recovering from a torn ACL, and, according to Bakich, is still working back up to 100% for 2023. Taylor had a minor knee surgery last fall.

Perfect Game is still high on Taylor and ranks him as the No. 24 sophomore in the nation and the No. 7 ACC prospect for the 2024 MLB Draft. Taylor is the first Clemson football player to letter in baseball since former defensive tackle/pitcher D.J. Reader in 2013.

How to watch and stream Clemson baseball

As long as you have a cable subscription, it’ll be easy to watch Bakich’s debut season. Each of Clemson’s non-televised home games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, an online-only channel accessible through streaming services and smart TVs.

Clemson’s ACC road games will be available on ACC Network Extra, too.

The Tigers will also play six televised games on ACC Network, according to an ACC TV schedule released earlier this month. That includes home games against No. 6 Wake Forest on Thursday, March 30; Notre Dame on Friday April 14; and No. 12 North Carolina on Saturday, May 20.

Clemson’s 2023 baseball schedule includes 34 home games and 30 games against 2022 NCAA tournament qualifiers. The Tigers’ annual rivalry series with No. 23 South Carolina will run March 3-5 with games in Clemson, Greenville (Fluor Field) and Columbia, respectively.

Clemson baseball 2023 schedule



  • March 3-5: vs. No. 23 South Carolina (Palmetto Series)

  • March 7: vs. East Tennessee State

  • March 8: vs. Presbyterian

  • March 10-12: vs. Georgia State

  • March 14: vs. College of Charleston

  • March 17-19: vs. Duke (ACC)

  • March 21: vs. Winthrop

  • March 22: at Kennesaw State

  • March 24-26: at Georgia Tech (ACC)

  • March 30-April 1: vs. No. 6 Wake Forest (ACC)


  • April 4: vs. Coastal Carolina

  • April 6-8: at Florida State (ACC)

  • April 11: at Georgia

  • April 14-16: vs. Notre Dame (ACC)

  • April 18: vs. Georgia

  • April 21-23: at No. 21 NC State (ACC)

  • April 25: vs. Kennesaw State

  • April 28-30: at Boston College (ACC)


  • May 5-7: vs. No. 16 Louisville (ACC)

  • May 10: at Coastal Carolina

  • May 12-14: at No. 14 Virginia Tech (ACC)

  • May 16: vs. USC Upstate

  • May 18-20: vs. No. 12 North Carolina (ACC)


  • May 23-28: ACC tournament in Durham, North Carolina

  • June 2-5: NCAA regionals at campus sites

  • June 9-12: NCAA super regionals at campus sites

  • June 16-26: College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska

Chapel Fowler has covered Clemson football, among other topics, for The State since June 2022. He’s a Denver, N.C., native, a 2020 UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus and a pickup basketball enthusiast with previous stops at the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer and Chatham (N.C.) News + Record. His work has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the North Carolina Press Association and the Associated College Press.

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