Ten former Lions are playing professionally

Tate Scioneaux is one of 10 university alumni to play professional baseball in the 2017 season. He plays for the Altoona Curve in Minor League Baseball.
Courtesy of Rob Lynn/Altoona Curve

The beginning of the 2017 professional baseball season will see 10 baseball alumni resuming their baseball career. 

Wade Miley is playing for Baltimore Orioles in Major League Baseball whereas the other nine players are representing teams in Minor League Baseball.

Tate Scioneaux, pitcher for Altoona Curve describes life as a professional baseball player.

“It has its ups and downs,” said Scioneaux. “I guess the toughest part is being away from your loved ones. Other than that, you’re living a life though. You’re playing baseball as your job. You’re meeting new teammates every year, moving up and down. I think it’s pretty awesome. You get paid to play. Couldn’t ask for a better job.”

Pat Cashman, the pitcher for Arizona League White Sox tells how his daily routine has altered in professional baseball as opposed to the collegiate level.

“It’s something different from college,” said Cashman. “It’s an awesome experience so far. It’s always something I wanted to do. This is an adjustment as far as like spending more time at the field and kinda living on your own. In college, we had a nice living situation, and it’s kind of organized. Professional baseball is more chaotic and is a more individual type of game now.”

Along with Miley, Scioneaux and Cashman, Brock Hebert, Andro Cutura, Jameson Fisher, Kyle Keller, Domenick Carlini, Kyle Cedotal and Jake Johnson represent the former Lions playing professional baseball.

Scioneaux explains how pitching in the professional level differs from the time he was in college.

“The biggest difference was the hitter’s approach,” Scioneaux said. “In college, there are more free swinger, just going up there and get the job done, but in pro ball, they have approaches and they have a plan of what they’ve gonna do and how they go about their business.”

Cashman tells what the difference between pro ball and college level has been like for him.

“Going to college and playing at Southeastern made the transition really easy because the way Coach Riser had the system set up at Southeastern,” said Cashman. “It had a lot of attention to detail. You’re controlling the small parts of the game, acting like a professional even when you’re in college. Once you go through Riser’s system, professional baseball is basically the same. It really wasn’t too much of a shock for me at all.”

Kannapolis Intimidators left fielder, Jameson Fisher, is also appreciative of how the university prepared him for professional baseball.

“Coach Riser and the rest of the coaches have done an awesome job with the mentality for the game of baseball,” said Fisher. “The mentality that I have, to play the game the right way, to play hard, to give everything you have, to be a good teammate has been enforced even more. It has helped me in my pro career.”

Cashman has been struggling with shoulder injuries, and he said he only had a few innings. However, he relives the time he was drafted as a professional baseball player.

“The highest point for me was definitely getting drafted, coming out to Arizona with the White Sox,” said Cashman. “That day, going from the day the draft started to getting drafted and coming out here, that three-day process, I felt like I was on top of the world.”

Fisher believes the best days of his career are ahead and hopes to achieve those goals.

“I’d say my highlights are yet to come,” said Fisher. “I feel like I’ve got a lot in front of me. I got a lot more hard work to do. So, I feel like my highlights are ahead of me.”

Scioneaux tells about his progress so far and also where he wants to be.   

“Everybody playing professional baseball has one dream that is going to the big league,” Scioneaux said. “So, you keep on fighting till you get there. Here, starting in AA this year, I mean it’s only two steps closer. Just got to keep fighting harder and harder.”

Just like Scioneaux, Cashman tells about the areas he needs to work on and his ambitions for his career.

“Well for me, right now, it’s all about staying healthy,” said Cashman. “That’s all I’m focusing on. Obviously, the big picture is making it to the big leagues and make it up to each level to reach the big leagues. It’s easy for me just to think about getting healthy right now, and once I’m healthy, it’s about playing well. The end game is to make it to the big leagues and have a decent career up there.”

Editor's note 05/02/2017 Content changed for quotes.

Pat Cashman
Courtesy of Randy Bergeron

Jameson Fisher
Courtesy of Randy Bergeron

Andro Cutura
Courtesy of Randy Bergeron

Jake Johnson
Courtesy of Randy Bergeron

Kyle Keller
Courtesy of Randy Bergeron

Domenick Carlini
Courtesy of Randy Bergeron

Kyle Cedotal
Courtesy of Randy Bergeron

Wade Miley
Courtesy of Randy Bergeron

Brock Herbert
Courtesy of Randy Bergeron