Bye shines as baseball salvages series finale against Creighton


Mia Hennen

Sophomore Cameron Bye pitches during the game against the Creighton Bluejays on March 27. The Shockers won, 6-3.

Cameron Bye struggled to find a role for the Shocker pitching staff last season, tallying a 4.97 ERA in 10 appearances out of the bullpen. But something has clicked this season for the sophomore pitcher. 

After coming out of the bullpen in WSU’s first seven games to start the season, Bye has carved out a role in the weekend rotation, starting the past three Sundays. Bye has yet to allow a run this season in 21.2 innings pitched and struck out 22 hitters, 14 more than he recorded a season ago.

Sophomore Cameron Bye pitches during the game against the Creighton Bluejays on March 27. The Shockers won, 6-3. (Mia Hennen / The Sunflower)

Bye’s latest solid performance on the mound came when the Shockers needed it the most. WSU’s bullpen was taxed after dropping the first two games of the series to Creighton and Bye delivered six scoreless innings on Sunday, tallying a career-high six strikeouts in the 6-3 victory.

“This time, I just tried to trust my defense more and last week I was walking a bunch of people, I was just trying to do too much,” Bye said. “This week, I just trusted my defense and threw the ball over the plate.”

Senior Ross Cadena caught Bye in each of his last three starts and said that the cutting action on his fastball makes it tough for hitters to make contact. Bye has regularly been sitting from 94-96 mph this season and has only thrown one wild pitch this season, while consistently finding the strike zone. 

“He located both sides of the plate with his fastball and then behind in the count he was able to throw his off-speed pitches for strikes which allowed him to throw those hitters off balance,” Cadena said. “I think he was very successful because he could go in and out, up and down.”

After playing this summer with the Upper Valley Nighthawks in the New England League, Bye started to see results on the mound which has translated into this season. Bye pitched to the tune of a 2.51 ERA in Vermont over the summer and he hasn’t looked back since.

Senior catcher Ross Cadena and sophomore pitcher Cameron Bye talk in between innings on March 27 during the game against the Creighton Bluejays. (Mia Hennen / The Sunflower)

Opponents are only hitting .122 against Bye during the 2022 season and is the only remaining Shocker pitcher that hasn’t allowed a run.

“He did a great job out of the bullpen early so we gave him a shot in the rotation,” Head Coach Eric Wedge said. “He’s really just stepping up. He’s built up almost where he can be so he can go deeper into ball games.”

Bye now finds himself gaining more and more confidence after each start, which all started after his first appearance this season against Louisiana Tech. Bye struck out three batters in two innings out of the bullpen against the Bulldogs and his confidence has only grown since then.

“That first outing I had against Louisiana Tech, it gave me a lot of comfort and confidence and it kept rolling over and over and over,” Bye said. “So, I just kept doing the same thing.”

Bye and the Shockers will take on Missouri State on Tuesday at Eck Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.