Clemson Baseball: Observations From First Day of Spring Practice

Jason Priester

Staff member
Clemson held its first spring baseball practice on Friday, capping the afternoon off with a four-inning intrasquad scrimmage.


  • Practice began with the team spending considerable time working on bunting, something that has not been a strong suit for the Tigers in recent seasons. Probably close to an hour. The coaches also worked in some situational base running, with head coach Erik Bakich serving as the pitcher while the players worked on squeeze plays, stealing bases and not getting picked off. Bakich was really preaching how to read the pitcher's eyes.
  • The bunting theme continued throughout the scrimmage as each half-inning began with a batter attempting to lay down a bunt.
  • Bakich, who was serving as the home plate umpire and calling the balls and strikes, appears to be a coach that really emphasizes the little things and communication, as he was heard multiple times shouting instructions, emphasizing the details. For example, there was at least one occasion where he wanted infielders to be more vocal when recognizing a bunt attempt from the opposing team.
  • The scrimmage was dominated by the pitchers, with the final being 1-0. I missed part of the top of the first inning, but I only recall two base hits, one coming from Rocco Ried.
  • Right-hander Jay Dill started the scrimmage for one team, while lefty Ryan Ammons started for the other. Both threw two scoreless innings, consistently pounding the strike zone. Dill was throwing in the 90-91 mph range, while Ammons was 92-93.
  • RHP Willie Weiss, a transfer from Michigan, came on in relief of Ammons and pitched two hitless innings, striking out multiple hitters. His stuff is downright nasty, and his fastball was hitting 95 mph.
  • RHP Jackson Lindley came on in relief of Dill and took the loss. After tossing a scoreless third inning, he would surrender a one-out walk to Caden Grice in the bottom of the fourth. Grice advanced to second on a passed ball and then scored on a walk-off single. Lindley also picked off a runner at first (Jay Dillard).
  • Freshman Jacob Jarrell and Cooper Ingle served as the catchers.
  • Will Taylor was in CF for one team while freshman Nathan Hall was there for the other.
  • Michigan transfer Riley Bertram and freshman Nolan Nawrocki were the shortstops.
  • Tristan Bisetta and Jack Crighton were in RF, while Tyler Corbett and Gavin Abrams were in LF. Corbett misplayed a deep fly ball to left-center that allowed a runner to reach. Crighton had a very impressive catch in the bottom of the fourth.
  • Chad Faiey and Grice were at 1B.
  • Freshman Jack Reynolds, freshman Jay Dillard and Mac Starbuck all played 2B.
  • Blake Wright and Cam Cannarella were at 3B.
  • And finally, former Clemson head coach Jack Leggett, who is back with the program as part of the staff, was working with the hitters during the practice.

The team scrimmages again on Saturday morning at 11 a.m.