Jay Artigues' Lions Baseball Camps
Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Matt Riser enters his sixth season on Jay Artigues' staff and his fifth as a full-time assistant coach. Riser serves as the Lions’ primary hitting coach while working extensively with the Southeastern outfielders. He also serves as the third-base coach during games and the program’s recruiting coordinator.
Under Riser’s guidance, the Lion offense produced the 2012 Southland Conference Player and Hitter of the Year Brock Hebert (.374, 58 runs, 21 doubles, 36 stolen bases). Senior Jonathan Pace hit .350, giving the Lions two of the top six hitters in the conference. The pair joined NCBWA National Stopper of the Year Stefan Lopez to give Southeastern three first-team All-Conference players.
The Lions led the Southland in five offensive categories in their record-breaking 2010 season and had five All-Conference Players, including 12th-round draft pick Chris Franklin.
Riser coached Southeastern’s career-hits leader Cass Hargis and previous record holder Ty Summerlin. Summerlin was drafted in the 30th round after his senior season by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Riser also has coached six All-Americans, including three Freshmen All-Americans.
Hebert and Lopez each earned four All-America honors, joining Freshman All-American Andro Cutura as 2012 honorees. In 2008, centerfielder Hargis was named Freshman All-American in Riser’s first season, and Franklin was named an NCBWA All-American after his campaign in 2009. Josh Cryer was named a 2011 Capital One Academic All-American, becoming the first Lion baseball player to ever earn the honor.
Riser, a Picayune, Miss., native, began his coaching career after completing his collegiate career at Tulane, where he played in 2005-06. Prior to his time in New Orleans, Riser played under current Southeastern head coach Jay Artigues for two seasons at Pearl River Community College.
Riser played in 108 games in two years with the Green Wave. As a senior, he played in all 64 games and made 57 starts, finishing the season with three home runs, 37 RBI and 16 doubles, helping Tulane to a NCAA Regional Final Appearance. In 2005 Riser played a vital role in helping Tulane to the 2005 College World Series, playing in 44 games as a junior.
At PRCC, Riser earned All-Region XXII honors and Region XXII Defensive Player of the Year honors as a sophomore, helping PRCC to the state title. He batted .376 as a sophomore and .347 as a freshman, while compiling 110 hits, 30 doubles and 109 runs scored in his two-year junior college career. Riser prepped at Picayune Memorial High and was an All-State pick as a senior.
Riser earned his degree in biomedical engineering from Tulane University in 2007. He is married to the former Jeanette Marie Craft, and the couple live in Hammond.
Daniel Latham enters his second season with Jay Artigues’ staff. Latham serves as the Lions’ pitching coach and assists with recruiting efforts.
During the 2012 season, Southeastern shaved almost half-of-a-run off the previous season's team ERA. The Lions finished third in the conference in ERA (3.48) and junior Jordan Hymel finished with the fifth-lowest individual ERA (2.64). Junior right-hander Stefan Lopez established new Lion and conference single-season (20) and career (30) saves records on the way to being named the National Stopper of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Lopez was named the 2012 Southland Conference Relief Pitcher of the Year and Andro Cutura the Freshman of the Year. Cutura, who won his final six decisions on the mound, was also named a Freshman All-American while Lopez joined Brock Hebert, the Southland's Player and Hitter of the Year, with four All-America selections apiece. Hebert (14th-round) and Lopez (16th-round) signed contracts with the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees, respectively, after being selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.
Latham spent the 2011 season as the pitching coach at VMI, and guided the Keydets’ pitching staff to the fourth-lowest team ERA in school history. The 4.78 ERA was third-best in the Big South Conference. The pitching staff also recorded the fourth-fewest walks-per-nine and fourth-most strikeouts in VMI history. The Keydets also compiled the second-most saves in school history as closer Mike Devine was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List.
Prior to VMI, Latham served two seasons as a volunteer assistant at High Point in North Carolina. He was the pitching instructor, first base coach and camp director for the Panthers. The 2010 squad recorded the most NCAA D1 wins and Big South wins in school history. Panthers closer Jeremy Berg signed a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after the 2009 season.
While at High Point, Latham also served as the Director of the Panthers Baseball Club, maintaining all aspects of the program and serving as the head coach of the 15-and-under squad.
During the summer of 2008, Latham served as a pitching instructor at Madisonville’s Sandlot Baseball Academy and as head coach for the 12 and under Louisiana Knights USSSA program.
Latham, a Covington native, was a member of the 2007 Appalachian League Champion Elizabethton Twins after being drafted in the 15th-round of the MLB Draft out of Tulane.
A closer while a four-year member of the Green Wave baseball squad, Latham recorded 13 career wins and racked up a school-record 43 saves (sixth-most in NCAA history) during his time in the Crescent City. His 122 career appearance, 121 in relief, ranks second all-time for Tulane and sixth in Conference USA history. Latham’s 121 career relief appearances are the 15th-highest total in NCAA history.
At Tulane, Latham participated in three NCAA Regionals, two Super Regionals and made one trip to the College World Series. He won a CUSA championship, was named to the 2004 CUSA All Freshman Team, earned All-Star honors in the Cape Cod League (2006), was a 2007 pre-season All-American (NCBWA third-team) and placed on the CUSA Commissioner’s Honor Roll all four seasons.
Latham earned his degree in communications from Tulane in 2007. He resides in Hammond.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Cass Hargis enters his first season as a volunteer assistant coach on Jay Artigues’ staff. He will be the first base coach, assist with the hitters as well as working with outfielders and base runners, and be responsible for field maintenance.
A native of Meraux, La., he spent the 2011-12 school year as a teacher and coach at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Hammond.
Hargis, a 2011 graduate of Southeastern, is the Lions’ all-time leader in hits (299) and runs scored (217). He also ranks sixth on the all-time runs batted in (146) list.
Named a Freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger and Ping! Baseball, he earned All-Southland honors as a junior.
Baseball team captain and MVP as a senior at Holy Cross High School, he also lettered in football and was a Class 5A All-State, All-District, All-Area and Preseason All-Metro selection in 2005.
Born in Chalmette, La., Hargis is the son of Carl and Jamie Hargis. He resides in Hammond.