Clemson Baseball Stars Garner National Attention

After a disappointing end to the Clemson Tigers baseball season, underclassmen are being honored for a stellar season.
Clemson sophomore Cam Cannarella (10) hits a home run against Coastal Carolina University
Clemson sophomore Cam Cannarella (10) hits a home run against Coastal Carolina University / Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a disappointing finish to their season, Clemon's baseball program continues to shine with the remarkable performances of their sophmore outfielder Cam Cannarella and freshman right-hander Aidan Knaak.

Cannarella and Knaak were recently named third-team All-America team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). The selections mark the number 67 and 68 All-Americans in Clemson's history. The honors highlight the second consecutive year Clemson has had multiple All-Americans in one season.

The awards and recognition continue for the underclassmen by earning invitations to the USA Collegiate National Team training camp, as announced by USA Baseball. This is Cannarella's second consecutive invitation.

Cannarella's sophomore season was spectacular. Despite battling injuries for most of the season, he maintained a .337 batting average, with 16 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 60 RBIs and 58 runs over 58 games. His .417 on-base percentage and team-leading 29 multiple-hit games make him one of the best.

Over his two-year career, Canarella boasts a .363 batting average, 32 doubles, six triples, 18 home runs, 107 RBIs, 130 runs, a .440 on-base percentage, and 24 steals in 117 games.

His performance and the disappointing finish has had rumors flying of the sophomore entering the transfer portal, something he quickly put to bed.

"I love the coaches here. I love the facilities. it is just a great place to be. I'm not going anywhere."

Freshman sensation Aidan Knaak certainly made a positive impression in his debut season. Named the NCBWA National Freshman Pitcher-of-the-Year, Knaak posted a 5-1 record with a 3.35 ERA, .221 opponents’ batting average, and 108 strikeouts against 29 walks in 83.1 innings over 15 starts. His 108 strikeouts are the most by a Tiger freshman in history and the highest by any Clemson pitcher since 2017.

Knaak led the team in starts, innings pitched, and strikeouts, with Clemson achieving a 13-2 record in his 15 starts. His dominance continued in ACC play, where he recorded a 4-1 record with a 2.55 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 53 innings.

Clemson has a proud tradition of being a part of the USA Collegiate National Team training camp with 16 prior players making the team. The training camp will feature 56 premier non-draft-eligible college players in a two-game Stars versus Stripes series in Cary, N.C., on June 26 and 27. Following the camp, USA Baseball will name the final Collegiate National Team.

The team will then be split into two rosters - International Friendship Series roster and Summer League Tour roster. The International Friendship Series roster will face Chinese Taipei in a five-game series, while the Summer League Tour roster will compete against select teams from the Appalachian League and the Coastal Plain League.

July 4 will mark the end of the series schedule when the two U.S. Collegiate National Team rosters matchup in Fayetteville, N.C.

Laura Lambert