Two freshmen could be in opening-day lineup for Clemson baseball

Two freshmen could be in opening-day lineup for Clemson baseball


Two freshmen could be in opening-day lineup for Clemson baseball


Erik Bakich is high on the makeup of the initial crop of freshmen he’s brought into Clemson’s baseball program.

“There’s not one freshman in this entire class that we don’t envision at some point in their career at Clemson being a significant contributor,” the Tigers’ first-year coach said.

For a pair of in-state newcomers, those contributions will be almost immediate.

Cam Cannarella and Jacob Jarrell are in line to get their fair share of playing time at true freshmen this spring, Bakich said. Jarrell, a Florence native, signed with the Tigers as a catcher while Cannarrella played his high school ball at Hartsville High, where the 6-foot, 175-pounder starred primarily in the middle infield.

That’s where Cannarella could help immediately with junior second baseman Blake Wright still dealing with a wrist injury, but Bakich described him as a super-utility player whose versatility could get him in the lineup at a number of different spots as soon as the Tigers’ Feb. 17 opener against Binghamton.

“He can play every infield position and every outfield position,” Bakich said. “We haven’t tried him at catcher, but I think he’s played all seven positions behind the pitcher. He’ll be in either one of those or in a (designated hitter) spot.

“If opening day was tomorrow or today for that matter, he would be in there somewhere.”

Another injury may also get Jarrell in the lineup sooner rather than later. Preseason All-American Cooper Ingle isn’t fully healthy either with an arm injury. Ingle, the Tigers’ leading returning hitter (.351 average), could get more time at DH than behind the plate early in the season as a result, which would press Jarrell into action.

“Cooper is healthier and will be out there, but we’ll definitely need someone to give him some relief, and Jacob Jarrell looks to be that guy right now,” Bakich said.

Jarrell was a four-year letterman during his prep career at P27 Academy in Lexington. Cannarella and Jarrell inked with Clemson as part of the nation’s No. 14 recruiting class, according to Perfect Game.

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