Clemson Slugger Billy Amick Just Might Be ACC’s Best Feel Good Story

DURHAM, N.C.- Clemson slugger Billy Amick has gone from a largely unknown role player to a well known commodity in a matter of weeks.

When the season began, Amick was not expected by anyone to be a regular in the Tigers’ lineup. In fact, he wasn’t even one of the first guys off the bench. He was the teams third first basemen.

Now, not only can you expect to see his name on the lineup card each and every game, he has been one of the keys to Clemson’s dramatic turnaround that has the Tigers on the verge of going from last place in the Atlantic division standings to national seed in just over a month.

“He’s got an incredible story,” head coach Erik Bakich said. “It’s actually an inspirational story for anyone that started the season as a role player and not getting much playing time.”

What makes the story even that much more intriguing is that Amick only got his shot by chance.

“It was only by chance that he got into a game this year,” Bakich said. “Caden (Grice) was pitching, our first baseman who was in the game got hit by a pitch, had to come out. He gets in there, gets a hit or two and before you know he hits a walk off grand slam against Georgia State. Started to get a few more opportunities. We still didn’t even have him in there the first three weekends of conference play. I think it was the Saturday, game three against Wake Forest, he got a start, and he got a couple of hits.

Despite having only started 36 of the team’s 54 games, Amick is second on the team with 11 home runs. His 53 RBI are just five short of Grice’s team-leading 58. He is hitting a scorching .432, leads the team with a .732 slugging percentage and has been named ACC Player of the Week and Co-Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks.

However, Amick’s attitude has never changed. Not when he was cheering on his teammates from the dugout as a role player and not that he has now emerged as a bonafide star in the Tigers’ lineup.

“He just was always positive, always worked hard,” Bakich said. “Took advantage of his opportunity. Got better as the season has gone on and got better throughout the fall. And now, for a guy that was never even considered in the lineup, now we can’t run a lineup without him hitting fifth behind Caden.”

The emergence of Amick has had a jolting effect on a team that started just 2-8 in ACC play. It’s also paid dividends for Grice. Teams have to be more careful when thinking of pitching around Grice, knowing that Amick is sitting there waiting in the on-deck circle.

“You’ve got two real power hitters in the middle of the order,” Bakich said. “Instead of (Grice) being the guy that it’s based around, a guy like Billy Amick right behind him, that’s a big deal. It’s certainly been a big boost to our offense with the two of those guys right there in the middle.”

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