From SLU Athletics
HAMMOND, La. – After consecutive trips to the Southland Conference Tournament championship game, the Southeastern Louisiana baseball team will open its first fall practice Tuesday under a new regime.
Taking over for Jay Artigues, who became Southeastern's interim athletics director following the conference tournament, is interim coach Matt Riser. Artigues' recruiting coordinator for the past few seasons, Riser has played a big role in developing the program.
"It's no different on the baseball side," Riser said. "We're still coming out and doing our same deal every day, paying attention to detail and working hard."
Southeastern returns Freshman All-Americans Jameson Fisher and Mason Klotz as well as All-Conference third baseman Jesse Buratt. Fisher and pitcher Tate Scioneaux were All-Conference honorable mentions.
"We're excited to get started," Riser said. "We've got a lot of good guys in, a lot of guys returning that developed over the summer and turned into prospects that we expect to fill some roles."
Pitchers Andro Čutura and Kyle Keller excelled over the summer. Čutura was the top pitcher for the Wareham Gatemen in the prestigious Cape Cod League and Keller's efforts with the Victoria Generals in the Texas Collegiate League caught the eye of several Major League scouts.
Five junior college players are part of the most recent recruiting class. Left-handed pitcher Dylan Earnest (Itawamba CC) joins infielders Kevin Carr (Mesa CC) and Jacob Williams (Baton Rouge CC) as well as outfielders Andrew Godbold (Triton College) and Kiko Thompson (Hinds CC).
Team captain as a sophomore, Carr hit .370 with 41 RBIs for Mesa and earned All-Conference honors. Earnest earned All-State honors after he finished his sophomore season at Itawamba with a 7-4 record, six complete games and one shutout. The southpaw allowed just 53 hits in 83.1 innings, striking out 91 and compiling a sparkling 1.08 ERA.
Godbold finished 24th in the nation this spring with a .420 batting average. The strapping right-hander hitter pounded out 19 doubles, drove in 38 runs, stole 23 bases and recorded eight outfield assists.
Thompson led Hinds in batting average (.359), hits (47), on-base percentage (.462) and tied for the team lead in hit by pitches (10). The two-time All-State selection stole 12 bases in 15 attempts. Williams was an All-Region selection as a sophomore at BRCC.
The 2014 freshman class contains six All-State players, including the Louisiana Sports Writers Association 3A Player of the Year in pitcher Scott Szush. A right-hander from E.D. White High School in Thibodaux, La., Szush was named player of the year after compiling 14-0 record and tossing 26-consecutive scoreless innings in the LHSAA playoffs.
Other past All-State selections include Andrew Cole, a catcher from Benton (La.) H.S., Trevor Curry, an infielder from St. John the Evengelist in Plaquemine, La., Brooks Morse (Sulphur H.S.), Gage Pickett (Parkview Baptist H.S.) and Jordan Washam, a two time selection for Ouachita Christian in Monroe, La.
Pitcher Dreagan Bethel was an All-District performer at Walker H.S. Outfielder Jacob Seward, led Brother Martin H.S. in batting average (.470), on base percentage (.600), runs (42), hits (47), triples (4), walks (29) as a junior.
Webb Bobo hit .375 as a senior with a pair of home runs at Prattville (Ala.) H.S. He joins Kennon Menard, an infielder from Teurlings Catholic H.S. in Lafayette, La., as being named a Rawlings High School All-American (honorable mention).
"The last two freshmen classes we've brought in have been big for us," Riser said. "The JC guys have done a good job of helping. Those freshman have developed and their not acting like sophomores or juniors, but like they've been here for three or four years. When you have that kind of leadership there is no telling what we can do."
Fall practice concludes at the end of October with the five-game Heart of a Lion World Series. All practices are open to the public.