Matt Riser's Lions Baseball Camps
Pitching Coach / Academic Coordinator
In three seasons under Daniel Latham the Southeastern Louisiana pitching staff has become one of the most efficient and effective in the Southland Conference. In addition to pitching coach duties, Latham also assists with recruiting efforts and administrative duties, as well as functions as the program's academic and travel coordinator.
On the way to an historic 2014 season that ended with the Lions returning to NCAA Regional play for the first time in 20 years, Southeastern compiled a 2.92 ERA (third best in the Southland and 27th nationally). The staff also led the conference with a 2.51 strikeout-to-walk ratio (27th nationally), was second with six shutouts (40th nationally) and third (55th nationally) with a WHIP of 1.28.
Staff ace Andro Čutura was the Southland Conference leader in a couple of statistical categories, compiling a 10-2 record and a 1.95 ERA. Čutura fanned 99 batters in 106 innings pitched, while limiting hitters to a .219 batting average, and issuing 21 walks. He tossed three complete games in his 16 starts. Čutura, who led the Southland in wins and strikeouts, was selected in the seventh round of the MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins.
In 2013 he helped produce a pair of Freshman All-Americans, marking the second-consecutive season a Lion has been so honored, as Louisville Slugger tabbed pitcher Mason Klotz and catcher/first baseman Jameson Fisher was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association squad.
Klotz compiled a 3-0 record and team-high 11 saves to go with a 2.63 ERA. The right-hander fanned 37 batters, in 41 innings pitched, while allowing just 29 hits (.204 opponent batting average). He split time as the Lions' closer with junior Dylan Hills before claiming the full-time role at the end of April. Klotz earned seven saves in his final nine outings and allowed just one run in his final 18.2 innings of work. Earlier in the season, Hills was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List.
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 as well as conference single-season (20) and career (30) saves records on the way to being named the NCBWA National Stopper of the Year.
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.
Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
Andrew Gipson joins the Southeastern Louisiana baseball coaching staff after spending the 2014 season as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.
He will instruct catchers, assist with pitching instruction and administrative duties, as well as serve as camp coordinator and be responsible for field maintenance at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
Belhaven finished the 2014 season with a 42-21 overall record and a No. 18 national ranking, hosting a regional for the second time in school history.
All-American reliever Tyler Akins led the nation with 17 saves and helped the staff to a 3.58 team ERA, the second lowest compiled by the Blazers in a 10-year span. All-American second baseman Paul Pickerell helped the team to a nation-leading 211 stolen bases.
A former player under legendary coach Hill Denson, Gipson spent the 2013 season as a graduate assistant and 2012 as a student assistant for the club. As a player he was part of three Conference championships, four NAIA Regional/Opening Round tournaments, and one NAIA World Series appearance.
Gipson has coached three All-Americans (Akins, Pickerell and Chris Good) and a pair of his players have signed professional contracts. Left-handed pitcher Brett Blaise signed a free-agent contract with the Tampa Rays following the 2012 season and catcher Kyle Wheeler was selected by the Oakland A's in the 26th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
A native of Oneonta, Alabama, Gipson graduated Magna Cum Laude from Belhaven with degrees in Psychology and Sports Administration.
Volunteer Assistant Coach / Camp Coordinator
Former Lion pitcher Kaleb Manuel joins the Southeastern Louisiana baseball staff for the 2016 season after serving as a high school coach and private instructor the past few years.
He will instruct outfielders, assist with administrative duties, as well as serve as camp coordinator and be responsible for field maintenance at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
During the 2013-14 school year he served as assistant baseball and football coach at St. Stanislaus H.S. in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The baseball squad, under the direction of head coach Mark Logan, won district and saw players move on to the collegiate ranks at Ole Miss, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Pearl River Community College.
In two seasons with the Lions, Manuel compiled a 5-7 win-loss record on the mound to go with a 3.94 ERA. He fanned 81 batters in 96 innings of work, splitting time between the bullpen and the starting rotation.
A two-time member of the Southland Conference Honor Roll, Manuel was named the Louisiana Pitcher of the Week (May 13, 2013) after he tossed a complete game to defeat then No. 28-ranked Sam Houston State, 5-1, and snap the Bearkats 11-game winning streak.
Prior to Southeastern Manuel spent two years pitching at perennial power LSU-Eunice, serving as team captain his sophomore season. The right-hander capped his freshman season by closing out the National Championship game for the Bengals at the NJCAA Divison II World Series.
A native of Mamou, Louisiana, Manuel graduated from Southeastern in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in general studies. He and his wife, the former Courtney Harris, reside in Hammond.