Who’s coming to Clemson? See schedule, opponents for Tigers’ NCAA baseball regional

The Clemson Regional is set.

The Tigers baseball team is the No. 6 overall seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament will host No. 2 Vanderbilt (38-21), No. 3 Coastal Carolina (34-23) and No. 4 High Point (34-25) in a double-elimination regional starting this Friday, the NCAA has announced.

Clemson (41-14) will play its first game Friday against High Point at 7 p.m. (ACCN), while Vanderbilt and Coastal Carolina will play earlier that day at noon (ESPN2).

The Clemson Regional will be paired with the Stillwater Regional, which features No. 11 national seed and top regional seed Oklahoma State as well as No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Florida and No. 4 Niagara. The winners of those two regionals will play each other in two weekends for the right to advance to the College World Series.

Heading into Monday’s selection show, Clemson already knew it was a top 16 national seed and would be hosting tournament baseball.

But the Tigers are now locked in a top 8 national seed for the second season in a row under coach Erik Bakich, meaning they’ve earned the right to host a super regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium if they advance past the regional round.

The Clemson Regional features some rich storylines, starting with the deep connections between the top two seeds in the region. Before he became the all-time winningest coach at Vanderbilt and led the Commodores to 2014 and 2019 national championship, Tim Corbin was a seven-year assistant at Clemson.

The 2002 Tigers team that made the College World Series featured Jack Leggett as head coach, Corbin an an assistant and Bakich as the volunteer assistant. Now, 22 years later, all three will be back in the same ballpark: Corbin coaching No. 2 Vanderbilt, Bakich coaching Clemson and Leggett working as a special assistant for Bakich.

The regional also features in-state opponent Coastal Carolina, whose longtime coach, Gary Gilmore, is retiring after the conclusion of the 2024 season. The No. 3 Chanticleers are a longtime mid-major power, hosted a regional last year and won the 2016 CWS.

No. 4 High Point, the last team in the regional and Clemson’s opening opponent, secured an automatic bid by winning the Big South tournament championship over the weekend. The Panthers, who are based in central North Carolina, are making their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Clemson’s NCAA Tournament path

Clemson finished the season going 15-11 over its last 26 games after a 26-3 start. But the Tigers still won the ACC’s Atlantic Division with a 20-10 conference record, and strong RPI and strength of schedule metrics (both overall and in non-conference play) helped them secure a national seed and home-field advantage.

The Tigers enter the postseason seeking their first College World Series appearance since 2010 — and, perhaps more pressingly, their first best-of-three super regional round since 2010. Since its last trip to Omaha under former coach Jack Leggett, Clemson has appeared in 10 NCAA regionals and failed to advance all 10 times.

The Tigers have also failed to advance out of five straight home regionals, including in 2023, when Clemson was the No. 4 overall seed in Bakich’s first season but went 1-2 with losses to regional champ Tennessee and Charlotte at its home ballpark.

As Monday’s selection show progressed, it seemed like there was a chance rival South Carolina would wind up in Clemson’s region as a No. 2 seed (something that hasn’t happened since 1980). But USC was placed in the Raleigh Regional with No. 10 NC State instead, ensuring the in-state rivals could not meet until Omaha.

Clemson Regional schedule

Friday, May 31

Game 1: No. 2 Vanderbilt vs. No. 3 Coastal Carolina, noon (ESPN2)

Game 2: No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 High Point, 7 p.m. (ACC Network)

Saturday, June 1

Game 3 (loser’s bracket): noon (TV TBD)

Game 4 (winner’s bracket): 5 p.m. (TV TBD)

Sunday, June 2

Game 5 (loser’s bracket): noon (TV TBD)

Game 6 (winner’s bracket): 6 p.m. (TV TBD)

Monday, June 3

Game 7 (winner’s bracket): Time TBD (TV TBD) **

** If necessary