By Jim Lane
CURVE, Pa. – By the time this is being read, the NCAA Final Four will be history and Curve pitcher Cam Vieaux will either be very happy or will be reminding friends “it was a really good run.”
A Michigan State graduate, Vieaux loved watching college basketball’s big event on television and he especially enjoyed the Elite Eight when the Spartans knocked off Duke.
Curve teammate-pitcher James Marvel is a Duke grad and Vieaux admits he enjoyed rubbing it in a little after they watched Michigan State beat Marvel’s beloved Blue Devils.
“That was pretty unreal, especially with this team,” Vieaux said. “We don’t have the talent we’ve had in the past. I mean I don’t think any of these guys will be immediate impacts in the NBA. However, it was cool to see a group of guys that love playing with each other and love playing for Michigan State.
“Growing up as an MSU fan – it was something I’ve known my whole life–it was kind of like a dream come true,” he said.
Vieaux’s parents also went to Michigan State and his brother goes there now, noting “it’s a family affair,” he said.
Vieaux, a southpaw, went to MSU four years, was redshirted as a freshman, and was drafted after his redshirt junior year. He studied social sciences, focusing on political science and economics.
Vieaux also played basketball and football (wide receiver) in high school but was strictly baseball in college. He was selected in the 19th round by the Tigers in 2015 but did not sign. The Pirates than picked him in the sixth round a year later after going 7-4 with a 2.28 ERA in 14 starts.
As a Pirate pro, Vieaux has pitched in West Virginia, Bradenton and Altoona. Last year, with Bradenton and Altoona, he compiled a 13-6 record – the most wins as any Pirate farmhand. He was 9-5 in 15 starts with the Curve.
“I just go out and try to do the same thing every day,” Vieaux said. “I was lucky to have really good talent behind me so it was super easy to do my job. I don’t throw hard but I control what I throw.
He was named the Curve Pitcher of the Year and said the award was a surprise.
“I wasn’t even in uniform that night because I was in the stands charting,” he noted. “But my job was easy because of the great talent behind me. It’s easy to come out every day knowing you’ve got Ke’Bryan Hayes, Cole Tucker and Jason Martin running things down. They were awesome and we’ve got guys coming in just as good.”
The Curve reached the Eastern League playoffs a year ago before being eliminated and Vieaux thinks the club could contend again.
“A lot of guys coming back were big contributors and got that taste of getting to the post-season for the first time,” he noted. “It went fast. We threw the first pitch in the first game and before we knew it we were down 0-2.”
Curve manager Michael Ryan said Vieaux will be in the starting rotation to open the season.
“He was with us last season and got playoff experience,” Ryan said. “We’ll rely heavily on him to get us off to a good start.
“He attacks the zone and our guys (on defense) were ready each pitch,” Ryan noted. “He got ahead of hitters and we were in every game he pitched. He always gave us a chance (to win) and that’s all you can ask of your starting pitchers.”