Series Preview and Where to Watch/Stream/Listen: No. 6 Clemson vs. Pitt

After a rough weekend in ACC play that saw Clemson drop its first conference series of the season, the Tigers are hoping to rebound when Pitt visits Doug Kingsmore Stadium for a weekend series beginning Friday.

Clemson (30-6 overall, 11-4 conference) fell four spots after a three-game losing streak last week and are ranked No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports baseball coaches poll. D1Baseball currently projects the Tigers as a No. 3 national seed in the Field of 64 for the 2024 NCAA Division 1 Baseball Tournament.

Securing a top eight national seed would ensure Doug Kingsmore Stadium of hosting a Super Regional, if the Tigers advance past the four-team, double-elimination Clemson Regional to begin the tournament.

First things first, the Tigers will face a struggling Pitt (15-19, 4-14) team that has yet to win a conference series this season. The Panthers dropped two of three to No. 8 Duke last weekend.

Clemson dropped two games to NC State before rallying for a 7-0 shutout victory behind eight innings of two-hit ball from freshman sensation Aidan Knaak. For the second week in a row, Knaak earned ACC Pitcher of the Week honors for his 10-strikeout performance against the Wolfpack.

As a team, Clemson is batting .281 with an OPS of .892. Tigers pitchers have a staff ERA of 3.93, good for second best in the ACC.

Friday’s series opener will mark the return of left-handed starter Tristan Smith, who missed the past month with an ankle injury. Smith hasn’t pitched since March 16 in the Tigers’ ACC opener at Duke. He is 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA in five starts. Smith has 36 strikeouts to 11 walks this season and has limited opponents to a .179 average.

Since Smith’s injury, Ethan Darden (5-1, 3.19 ERA) has been Clemson’s Saturday starter. Darden will make his fifth mid-series start after pitching a complete-game loss last weekend vs. NC State. Darden lowered his ERA to 3.19 after holding the Wolfpack to one earned run and seven hits in nine innings. He struck out five batters without allowing a walk.

Knaak (3-0, 2.87 ERA) is scheduled to make his 10th start this weekend. The right-hander has 67 strikeouts on the season to just 15 walks in 53 1/3 innings — the most innings thrown by anyone on the Tigers’ staff.

Pitt will counter with right-hander Ryan Andrade (0-3, 9.96) in Friday’s opener and Jack Sokol (3-2, 5.63) as part of a doubleheader Saturday. Ryan Reed (0-4, 7.34) is also scheduled to start Saturday.

Pitt is batting .287 as a team with an OPS of 8.60. Luke Cantwell has started all 34 games for the Panthers and leads the club in hitting with a .330 average. Pitt’s 6.20 ERA as a pitching staff ranks fourth to last in the ACC.


Clemson coach Erik Bakich confirmed earlier this week that shortstop Andrew Ciufo would miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. The injury occurred on April 6 in the Tigers’ victory at Notre Dame. Bakich’s club has some depth at middle infield with a few options to step in for Ciufo.

One of those is senior Jacob Hinderleider, who has spent most of the season at first base. The Davidson transfer has started all six games at shortstop since the injury to Ciufo. Hinderleider is tied with second baseman Blake Wright for the team lead in batting average (.320). The Tigers also have options in infielders Cooper Blauser and Jack Crighton.


Prior to Saturday’s games, Clemson will celebrate the life of the late Doug Kingsmore, who passed away in December at the age of 90. Kingsmore was a co-captain on the university’s first ACC championship team in any sport when the Tigers won the 1954 ACC baseball title. The Tigers’ home ballpark was renamed to honor Kingsmore in 2003.


Clemson leads the all-time head to head series with Pitt, 7-4. The two teams first began play in 2014 after the Panthers joined the ACC.

Where to Watch/Stream/Listen

Here’s a look at when, where, and how Clemsons fans can watch, stream, and listen to this weekend’s series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Start Times (ET)

Friday, 6 p.m.

Saturday (Game 1), 1 p.m.

Saturday (Game 2), approximately 45 minutes after conclusion of Game 1

Broadcast Info

Live Video Stream: ACC Network Extra, ESPN+

Radio: Clemson Athletic Network | TuneIn App

Broadcast Teams

Video: Pete Yanity, Ron Smith, Tim Bourret

Radio: Don Munson, Bob Mahony

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire