Ryan Ammons could be on the move this season.
After serving as the Tigers’ closer a season ago, Ammons is looking to potentially make the jump into a starting role this season.
New head coach Erik Bakich has come in and is looking to help the Clemson Baseball program reclaim some past glory. The Tigers have failed to make a regional in consecutive seasons, the first time that has happened since the 1980s.
While the first year head coach has yet to announce a starting rotation, Ammons is one of the pitchers in the mix and if needed, the veteran left-hander will embrace that opportunity with open arms.
“Just having faith in those guys that make that decision and that call and just trying to do whatever I can do to help his team win,” Ammons said. “These guys put us in the best positions to make those decisions and we go out there and try to compete to the best of our abilities and whatever happens, happens. So just trusting those guys who are really good at their jobs and just kind of letting them pave the way for us.”
The redshirt junior was one of Clemson’s more reliable relief pitchers last season, recording eight saves across 25 appearances. Ammons struck out 40 batters in 27.1 IP, with opponents hitting just .200 against him.
However, whether he is called on to start or come out of the bullpen, Ammons will be prepared for any role. It’s a motto the hard throwing lefty said the entire pitching staff is embracing in 2023.
“Whatever those guys need from me, and this staff,” he said. “We got so much talent on the staff. Anyone can go in and do whatever for the staff. So whatever they want and whatever they think is gonna help us win games. It’s something that we’re really gonna take pride in this year. No egos no roles. We’re going out there and trusting whoever we’re gonna run out there on the hill.”
Throwing strikes more consistently is something Bakich is looking for from the Tigers’ pitchers this season and Ammons is more than confident in new pitching coach Jimmy Belanger’s ability to prepare the staff. He’s also been leaning on some of his teammates that have experience starting in an effort to be is as fully prepared as he possibly can be.
“Definitely trusting the coaches and their throwing programs, ” Ammons said. “And being able to just put my trust into those guys, understand that they’re here to help me and they’re here to help this whole entire pitching staff for sure.”
“And just being able to learn from every single outing. Whether it’s different guys out there throwing or even going back and watching some of some of the older guys that have played. Just being able to learn from different guys that run out there. Guys like Nick Clayton, Nick Hoffman, guys who have thrown in starting roles in the past. Definitely just picking their brains. Learn from those guys. They’re definitely people who have had experience doing that and I think it’s definitely helped helped us out.”
Clemson is set to open the season on February 17, as the Tigers will host Binghamton in the first of a three game series. First pitch at Doug Kingsmore Stadium is set for 4 p.m.