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CLEMSON, S.C. – The Tigers begin their 126th season of baseball with their first full-squad practice this weekend before they open the season with a three-game series against Binghamton at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from Feb. 17-19.
Erik Bakich is in his first season as head coach at Clemson, returning to Tigertown after serving as the volunteer assistant coach in 2002. Bakich served as head coach at Michigan the last 10 seasons, leading the Wolverines to the 2019 College World Series championship series. Bakich also served as head coach at Maryland (2010-12) and as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt (2003-09).
Among the returnees is preseason All-America catcher Cooper Ingle, a career .330 hitter with a .433 on-base percentage, eight homers and 47 RBIs in 64 games. In 2022, he hit .351 in 54 games and threw out 12 of 31 potential basestealers.
Junior infielder Blake Wright was a Third-Team All-ACC selection at second base in 2022 thanks to hitting .349 with 12 homers, 10 doubles and 45 RBIs in 56 games during his breakout season. Wright, who had a .981 fielding percentage, also won the Tiger Baseball Award, given to the team’s best leader.
Junior lefthander Caden Grice is among the top two-way players in the country. He has seen limited action on the mound, but expects to see more innings in 2023. In 109 career games at the plate, he is hitting .277 with 27 homers, 20 doubles, 93 RBIs, 85 runs and a .390 on-base percentage.
The 2023 schedule features 34 home games and 30 games against 2022 NCAA Tournament teams. The Tigers play USC Upstate and South Carolina at Fluor Field in Greenville in the same week early in the season, and they face College of Charleston at Segra Park in Columbia on March 28. The ACC Tournament returns to Durham, N.C. for the 13th time overall and first time since 2019.
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