Newcomers join solid returning Lion core in fall practice - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Newcomers join solid returning Lion core in fall practice

From SLU Athletics

HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana University baseball program welcomed 17 new players Friday as the team opened fall practice at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

Southeastern loses four position starters and three pitchers off the 2012 team. All-Americans Brock Hebert, last season's starting second baseman, and NCBWA Stopper of the Year Stefan Lopez both signed professional contracts in June.

Intrasquad scrimmages are slated for 12:30 p.m. Sunday as well as 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. All practices are open to the public.

Jacob Fisher, Cody Gougler, Josh Janway, Joseph Koon, Torin Lucas, Jonathan Pace and Michael Rutland either graduated or exhausted their NCAA eligibility.

Returning for the Lions are catchers Sam Roberson and Kyle Bracey, infielders Ben Hernandez, Brett Hoffman and Josh Watkins, outfielders Britt Gautreaux, Alex Marse, Ladd Rhodes and Harry Slade as well as pitchers Buck Bernard, Andro Èutura, John Gremillion, Jason Greenleaf, Dylan Hills, Jordan Hymel, Kyle Keller, Sean Kennel, Kaleb Manuel, Matt Pittari and Tanner Rainey.

Among the newcomers are seven pitchers, five infielders as well as a pair of catchers and outfielders. Seven are junior college transfers.

Pitchers Vito Perna and Logan Riddell were on the same Jones County Junior College team with Rhodes that advanced to the NJCAA Division II National Championship game two seasons ago. Perna compiled an 18-4 record on the mound while hitting eight home runs and driving in 77 runs during his two-year career. Riddell posted a 17-6 record and a pair of sub-3.00 ERAs. Both earned all-state honors during their time at Jones County.

Aaron Haag, a 6-foot-4, 220 pound first baseman, earned All-America honors after hitting .413 with 10 home runs as a sophomore at Lurleen B. Wallace Junior College.

Corey Bryan, an All-ACCC performer at Faulkner State Community College, started his career at South Alabama. Last year, he hit .395 with four home runs and 44 RBIs at Faulkner State.

Albany's Gabe Woods transfers from Meridian Community College. The middle infielder was a three-time all-state selection in high school and a Texas Collegiate League All-Star this past summer.

Jesse Buratt, a corner infielder, hit over .300 in consecutive seasons at Baton Rouge Community College. The junior from Prairieville, La., hit nine home runs and drive in 89 runs in his two seasons at BRCC.

Gavin Culpepper, a 6-foot-8 right-handed pitcher from Belle Chasse, posted a 2-2 record and a 3.66 ERA as freshman at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Headlining the freshman class are catcher Jameson Fisher as well as pitchers Brennan Catalano and Mason Klotz. Fisher, the younger brother of former Lion catcher Jacob Fisher, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 24th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft.

At Zachary High, Fisher hit .554 as a senior with 21 extra-base hits and 38 RBIs. He was named to the 5A All-State team and an All-American by Baseball America.

Catalano and Klotz each earned all-state honors, and Klotz was named the 3A Player of the Year as a junior after leading Livonia High to the state championship. As a senior, Catalano posted a 10-1 record and a 2.45 ERA.

Joining Fisher as one of five different 5A All-State players are Ponchatoula's Dylan Meyers (catcher), outfielder/pitcher Kyle Cedotal (Denham Springs HS), switch-hitting infielder Daniel Midyett (Captain Shreve HS) and pitcher Gabe Von Rosenberg from Zachary High. Von Rosenberg's older brother Zack is a pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league system.

Other key members of the freshman class include Tate Scioneaux, an all-state pitcher at Riverside Academy, pitcher Guy Hymel (Catholic HS-Baton Rouge) as well as infielder Ryan Byers from Ponchatoula.

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