HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana baseball program opened its six-week fall practice period Monday with an afternoon practice session at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
Coach Matt Riser’s ball cub returns 12 lettermen and five redshirts off the 2019 squad. Joining the returning players in fall camp are 25 newcomers, including 14 freshmen. The influx of newcomers was brought about by a senior-laden club this past spring.
“The core of our recruiting classes are usually based off high school guys,” Riser said. “We tend to be more consistent and sustainable as a program when we have a good high school class. In our situation, with such a large senior class last year, we also needed to get some transfers that can make immediate impacts. Our staff did a great job of addressing both.”
Returning for the Lions are pitchers Hunter Arnold, Corbin Bozosi, Kyle Flettrich, Noah Hughes, Justin Simanek, Grant Upton and Will Warren, catchers Connor Manola and Greg Thompson, infielders Trey Harrington and Eli Johnson, and outfielders Preston Faulkner, Darius Jones and Nick Ray. They are joined by Trey Shaffer, Brant Husser and Trey Jolly, multi-position players who split time between the outfield and the mound.
In the incoming group are three JUCO national champions, three high school All-Americans and a transfer that was previously named one of the top pro prospects in the Southland Conference by D1Baseball.com. Based on Perfect Game’s recruiting rankings, 18 players were in the Top 1000 nationally coming out of high school. Included in the number are four players in the Top 500 and one in the Top 250.
“They’ve been really mature, taking care of their business,” Riser said of the newcomers. “The maturity of an individual speaks more so than their age. This group has the opportunity to be that next class to leave their mark at Southeastern for years to come.”
Intrasquad scrimmages are planned for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The team will return to a drill-oriented practice Thursday at 3:30 p.m. All of the fall scrimmages and workouts at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field are free and open to the public. Updates to the practice schedule will be announced on the baseball program’s Twitter account, @LionUpBaseball.
DIAMOND CLUB / S CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the baseball program are encouraged to join the Diamond Club. Lion baseball alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners. S Club members also gain membership in the Diamond Club.
All membership fees and donations to both the Diamond Club and S Club (baseball) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern baseball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at [email protected]
or (985) 549-5091.
For more information on Lions Baseball, follow @Lions_Baseball on Twitter, @SLU_LionsBaseball on Instagram, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.
Champ Artigues – INF – Redshirt Freshman – Hammond, Louisiana – Louisiana Tech
Redshirted at Louisiana Tech in 2019 … Perfect Game Top 1000 … played baseball at St. Thomas Aquinas HS ... earned All-District accolades all four years ... three-time All-State selection ... member of the 2018 LBCA Composite All-State team ... a 2018 Second Team All-USA Louisiana team selection ... named Hitter of the Year on the 2018 LBCA Region 9 team ... 2018 first-team LSWA All-State ... named District MVP as a senior ... selected to the Louisiana High School All-Star Game ... hit .453, while slugging .716 with 43 hits - 19 of which went for extra bases during his senior season ... led St. Thomas Aquinas to a 2016 2A State Championship title ... four-time District Champions.
Dalton Aspholm – RHP – Freshman – Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Central HS
Perfect Game Top 1000 and the No. 12-ranked right-handed pitcher in Louisiana … helped lead Central HS to back-to-back state titles as a sophomore and junior … earned All-District honors as a junior infielder.
Kenny Bell III – INF – Freshman – Hammond, Louisiana – Hammond HS
Perfect Game Top 1000 … Under Armour All-American … earned All-Metro and All-District honors as a senior … produced a .426 / .496 /.554 slash line … picked up 22 RBIs and 27 stolen bases … also earned All-District honors as a sophomore and junior.
Jacob Burke – INF – Freshman – St. Francisville, Louisiana – University HS
Perfect Game Top 1000 and the No. 4-ranked third baseman in Louisiana … a two-time All-State, three-time All-Metro and four-time All-District honoree in baseball … twice named district MVP … owns the school record for hits, doubles and HBPs.
Robert Burke – RHP – Junior – St. Francisville, Louisiana – Northwestern State
No. 9 Southland Conference 2020 MLB Draft Prospect (D1Baseball.com) … appeared in five games as a sophomore, all in relief … did not receive a decision … compiled a 3.38 ERA in 5.1 innings, scattering four hits and four walks … struck out five … opponents hit .190 off the right-hander … combined on a pair of shutouts … opened his freshman season as the Sunday starter … made seven starts among his 11 appearances … compiled an 0-2 record and 4.94 ERA in 31 innings … scattered 41 hits and 19 walks, striking out 18 batters … played baseball at Zachary HS … first-team all-district and all-metro as a senior after going 7-5 with a 2.09 ERA … helped the Broncos to the District 4-5A title and earned the No. 5 seed in the state playoffs, reaching the state semifinals ... first-team all-district and all-metro pick as a junior after going 9-4 with a 2.15 ERA and 79 strikeouts for the district champions … second-team all-district as a sophomore.
Landon Clifton – RHP – Junior – Napoleonville, Louisiana – LSU Eunice
Appeared in 17 games as a sophomore, all in relief … compiled a 1-0 record with a 1.56 ERA in 17.1 innings … led the team with eight saves … scattered nine hits and five walks, striking out 21 batters … opponents hit .155 off the right-hander … helped lead the Bengals to a 59-6 record and the 2018 NJCAA National Championship as a freshman … appeared in 23 games, all in relief … compiled a 1-1 record with a 1.46 ERA in 24.2 innings … led the team with 11 saves … scattered 15 hits and 11 walks, striking out 31 batters … opponents hit .170 off the right-hander … Perfect Game Top 1000 and No. 12-ranked right-handed pitcher in Louisiana … played baseball at Ascension Catholic HS in Donaldsonville, Louisiana … three-time All-State and All-District performer … two-time All-Parish and All-Metro honoree … posted a 10-4 record and 1.32 ERA as a senior … fanned 113 batters in 68 innings … District MVP as a junior … posted a 7-2 record and 1.82 ERA … struck out 83 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched.
Daniel Dugas – RHP – Junior – Pearl River, Louisiana – Delgado CC
Helped lead the Dolphins to a 36-14 record as a sophomore … starting all 11 games in which he appeared … compiled a 6-4 record and 4.41 ERA in 49 innings … scattered 44 hits and 19 walks, striking out 43 batters … tossed a pair of complete games … led the team in wins, games started and strikeouts … helped the Dolphins to a 37-16 record as a freshman … compiled a 2-1 record and a 5.66 ERA in 31 innings … scattered 38 hits and 18 walks, striking out 29 batters … played baseball at Pearl River HS … owns a 6-4 career record with four saves and a 2.61 ERA … struck out 58 batters in 61.2 innings … also a career .314 hitter with 15 doubles, one triple, one home run and 45 RBIs.
Tyler Evans – RHP – Freshman – Denham Springs, Louisiana – Denham Springs HS
Perfect Game Top 1000 and No. 17-ranked right-handed pitcher in Louisiana … pitched and played center field at Denham Springs HS … named to the All-Metro, All-Parish and All-District teams.
Tyler Finke – INF – Sophomore – Columbus, Indiana – Snead State CC
Earned All-North Division and All-District honors … produced a .396 / .519 / .678 slash line with eight doubles, two triples and 10 home runs … scored 57 runs and drove in another 40 … walked (35) more times than he struck out (29) … picked up 38 stolen bases … led the team in batting average, runs scored, hits, triples, home runs, walks and stolen bases … played baseball at Columbus North High School in Columbus, Indiana … earned All-State honors and was a member of the North-South All-Star team ... two-time All-Conference honoree … team MVP … second in school history in hits and owns a career .415 batting average … hold both the single-season (48) and career stolen base (108) record.
Matt Flowers – RHP – Freshman – Katy, Texas – Cinco Ranch HS
Perfect Game Top 1000 … earned All-District honors as a relief pitcher.
Christian Garcia – INF – Freshman – Slidell, Louisiana – Northshore HS
Perfect Game Top 1000 … earned All-Metro honors after batting .420 with nine doubles, five triples and five home runs as a senior.
Bo Gatlin – INF – Freshman – Oxford, Mississippi – Oxford HS
Perfect Game Top 500 and No. 2-ranked shortstop in Mississippi … baseball team captain as a senior … batted .375 with 10 extra-base hits before an injury cut his final season short.
Bryce Grizzaffi – C / INF – Freshman – Morgan City, Louisiana – Central Catholic HS
Perfect Game Top 500 and No. 4-ranked catcher in Louisiana … a two-time All-State and three-time All-District honoree in baseball … named district MVP as a senior.
Brandon Hale – OF – Junior – Pontotoc, Mississippi – Jones County JC
Earned All-MACJC honors as a sophomore … batted .355 with six home runs, a team-leading 21 doubles and 33 RBIs ... also led the team with 50 runs scored and 22 stolen bases … produced a slash line of .313 / .456 / .426 as a freshman with six doubles, two triples and one home run … scored 32 runs and drove in another 21 … walked (24) more than he struck out (18) … stole 25 bases … played baseball at Pontotoc HS … hit .489 with eight home runs and 16 stolen bases as a senior.
Clint Hargrave – C – Freshman – Monroe, Louisiana – Ouachita Christian HS
Perfect Game Top 1000 … Max Preps Small School All-American as a senior ... helped lead Ouachita Christian to a 34-5 record and a state title … named MVP of the state championship game … earned Northeast Louisiana Player of the Year, LSWA 1A MVP and LBCA 1A Hitter of the Year honors after batting .405 with 13 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 43 RBIs and 27 walks … two-time All-State, All-Northeast Louisiana and All-Parish catcher … three-time All-District catcher … helped lead Ouachita Christian to the state championship game as a sophomore.
Anthony Hickman, Jr. – INF – Junior – Carriere, Mississippi – Mississippi State
Redshirted in 2019 at Mississippi State … played his freshman and sophomore seasons at East Mississippi CC … earned All-MACJC honors as a sophomore … started all 42 in which he appeared … produced a .315 / .343 / .549 slash line with 14 doubles and eight home runs … drove in 36 runs and scored another 32 … helped EMCC to a 25-20 record as a freshman … batted .323 with six doubles and two triples … scored 31 runs and drove in another 21 … played baseball at Pearl River Central HS … batted .292 as a senior and .379 as a junior with 13 RBIs and 20 runs scored … picked up 11 stolen bases.
Johnny Johnson – INF – Senior – Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Southern University
Earned All-Conference honors … produced a .333 / .414 / .480 slash line with 10 doubles, two triples and four home runs … drove in 38 runs and scored another 36 … picked up 18 stolen bases … spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at LSU Eunice … helped lead the Bengals to a 59-6 record and the 2018 NJCAA National Championship … produced a slash line of .340 / .457 / .527 as a sophomore with 13 doubles, three triples and three home runs … scored 51 runs and drove in another 32 … walked (26) more times than he struck out (24) … hit by nine pitches … picked up 21 stolen bases … Perfect Game Top 500 and No. 13-ranked player overall in Louisiana … played baseball at Runnels HS ... earned All-State accolades and participated in the LHSCA/LSCA East-West All-Star Game … batted .420 with three home runs as senior … earned All-Metro honors and named district co-MVP … earned All-State honors as a junior after helping Runnels to Class 2A State Semifinal appearance … batted .430 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs ... earned All-District honors as a freshman and sophomore.
Ryan Keeley – RHP – Freshman – Wheaton, Illinois – Wheaton Warrenville South HS
Perfect Game Top 500 and No. 12-ranked right-handed pitcher in Illinois … hard-throwing right-hander topped out at 94 mph his senior season.
Evan Keller – INF – Junior – Destrehan, Louisiana – LSU Eunice
Earned All-Region honors … produced a .389 / .526 / .479 slash line with 10 doubles, two triples and one home run … led the team in batting average, hits (74) and stolen bases (43) … scored 70 runs and drove in another 37 … walked (42) more times than he struck out (19) … hit by 14 pitches … helped lead the Bengals to a 59-6 record and the 2018 NJCAA National Championship as a freshman … produced a .313 / .389 / .366 slash line with four doubles and one triple … scored 31 runs and drove in another 18 … picked up 18 stolen bases … Perfect Game Top 1000 … played baseball at Destrehan HS ... batted .390 with three home runs and 30 RBIs … a two-time All-District honoree.
Landon Rawson – RHP – Freshman – Kosciusko, Mississippi – Central Holmes Christian HS
Rawlings Perfect Game All-American … participated in the 2019 MAIS All-Star games … earned All-MAIS honors … three-time All-Conference honoree … district MVP as a junior and senior.
Dalton Rogers – RHP – Freshman – Brandon, Mississippi – Northwest Rankin HS
Perfect Game Top 1000 … member of the Clarion Ledger’s Dandy Dozen as a senior … earned All-State and All-District honors … played in the Mississippi All-Star Game … posted an 11-1 record, 2.73 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched … also batted .370 with 18 doubles, 34 RBIs and 32 runs scored … earned All-State and All-District honors as a junior … posted a 12-0 record with 94 strikeouts in 56 innings.
Trevor Rugg – INF – Junior – West Monroe, Louisiana – Paris JC
Earned All-Conference honors as a sophomore … batted .317 with eight doubles, four triples and seven home runs … drove in 27 runs and scored another 30 … picked up 10 stolen bases … as a freshman, he batted .300 with four doubles, two triples and four home runs … drove in 28 runs and scored another 24 … Perfect Game Top 250 and No. 8-ranked third baseman in Louisiana … played baseball at Claiborne Christian School … district Player of the Year as a senior … batted .483 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs … helped lead Claiborne Christian to a state title as a junior … named the Class C Pitcher of the Year and championship game MVP … struck out 80 batters and walked 25 in 61 innings, compiling a 3.44 ERA … also batted .362 with five home runs and 25 RBIs … earned All-District honors as a third baseman his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Matt Taylor – OF – Junior – Raleigh, Mississippi – Pearl River CC
Helped Pearl River CC to a 41-14 (19-9 MACJC) record and an appearance in the JUCO World Series as a sophomore … led the team with a .342 batting average, 16 HBPs and 14 stolen bases … scored 56 runs and drove in another 50 … produced 10 doubles, two triples and six home runs … produced a .342 / .450 / .500 slash line … earned All-MACJC honors … helped PRCC to a 38-11 (23-5 MACJC) records and a state title as a freshman … led the team with 19 stolen bases … produced a .372 / .454 / .476 slash line … produced 10 doubles, one triple and one home run … scored 38 runs and drove in another 26 … earned All-MACJC honors.
Christian White – RHP – Freshman – Florence, Alabama – Central HS
Perfect Game Top 1000 … earned All-District honors … named team MVP and compiled a 1.37 ERA.
Seth Wyse – LHP – Redshirt Junior – Nashville, Tennessee – Dyersburg State CC
Appeared in 16 games as a sophomore, starting eight … compiled a 4-3 record and a 4.88 ERA in 55.1 innings … tossed one complete game and earned one save … scattered 54 hits and 23 walks, striking out 43 batters … redshirted during the 2018 season … helped lead Dyersburg State to a 47-8 record and an appearance in the JUCO College World Series as a freshman in 2017 … appeared in 15 games, starting 12 … compiled a 9-1 record and a 5.30 ERA in 73 innings … scattered 83 hits and 28 walks, striking out 71 batters.