Note: The following appears in the Wake Forest gameday football program.
Senior closer Carson Spiers was destined to don the orange and purple. Growing up a huge Clemson fan, Spiers spent his childhood weekends in Death Valley cheering on the Tigers. His father, Michael, uncle, Bill, and grandfather, Bud, were all Clemson baseball players, so it came naturally to cheer on the Tigers.
Spiers was an all-state selection and team MVP his senior year at Greenville (S.C.) High School as a pitcher and infielder. He accomplished that while setting school records for passing yards and touchdowns on the gridiron. Therefore, he was a highly touted prospect coming out of high school, but his decision to attend Clemson could not have been easier.
“I have orange in my blood. I knew I wanted to play baseball here, so once I got the opportunity from Coach (Monte) Lee, it was a no-brainer.”
Despite the deep history of Clemson baseball in his extended family, Spiers is different from his predecessors in that they were all position players, whereas he is a pitcher. He sees that as a way to make a legacy of his own and add something new to the Spiers story.
“I got a new start for Spiers. They all have so many home runs, their averages are so good and my grandfather’s fielding percentage is one of the best in Clemson history. For me being on the mound, it starts a new legacy while still being able to add to the Spiers legacy.”
Despite his pride in his position, Spiers was actually recruited to play infield and pitch before Lee encouraged him to move to the mound full time.
“When I got here, I realized hitting wasn’t for me and I was talented enough on the mound, so I ran with that.”
Not only did Spiers transition to pitcher, he also took over the role of closer for Andrew See’s pitching staff. The 2019 All-ACC selection relishes the opportunity to step into high-leverage situations, and he believes it takes a specific type of person to do so successfully.
“It takes a laid-back and relaxed guy…until it’s game time. For a closer, you have no say on how the game works the first seven innings. So, when I’m in the dugout, I’m laid back until the seventh inning, and then I start to prepare. When I hit the field, I turn into a ‘bulldog’.”
The idea of being a “bulldog” on the mound is very prominent in Lee’s teachings and Spiers’ own philosophy. The Greenville native who loves to spend time outdoors and cooking salmon, which he referred to as his “go-to dish,” has always been able to flip that switch from reserved to “bulldog.”
“On the mound, it’s me versus you and I have to think I’m better than whoever it is I face. When I’m on that mound, it’s all for me and my team.”
During the offseason and outside of his “bulldog” persona, the righty can be found with his cousin, Will Spiers, Clemson’s starting punter, in Cameron, S.C., where they hunt and fish together. Carson and Will stay in touch despite their vastly different schedules.
“We always text each other ‘good luck’ before games, and it’s cool to watch him suit up on Saturdays. As kids, we always said, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome to put on a Clemson uniform?’ so now that we both have that opportunity, it’s awesome.”
Having reached his goal of representing the Tigers, Spiers is looking forward to the upcoming season.
“Our goal is to win Omaha…not to get to Omaha, to win Omaha.”
The lifelong Tiger will certainly do everything he can to bring those aspirations to fruition when he takes the mound in his “bulldog” form.