Matt Riser's Lions Baseball Camps
Taking over the reins of the Southeastern Louisiana baseball program at the age of 29, making him one of the youngest head coaches at the NCAA Division I level, Matt Riser led the Lions to one of the most successful seasons in school history.
Southeastern finished the season with a 38-25 record, winning the Southland Conference Tournament to advance to NCAA Regional play for the first time in 20 years and knocking off Bryant University, 2-1, for the school's first NCAA postseason victory since 1992. Along the way, the Lions produced the top hitter in the conference, arguably the top pitcher and the conference's newcomer of the year.
Jameson Fisher led the Southland with a .389 batting average, .481 on-base percentage and 93 hits. His 17 doubles fell one shy of the conference lead and he was fourth in runs scored (53). The sophomore from Zachary, Louisiana (Zachary H.S.), was equally impressive in Southland competition, posting a .396 batting average and .478 on-base percentage. Nationally, Fisher was 15th in batting average and 12th in hits.
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 led the Southland in wins and strikeouts.
Andrew Godbold hit .349 with 10 doubles, nine home runs and a conference-leading 58 RBI. Named the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, Godbold was also a first team selection on the All-Louisiana squad and an ABCA All-Region selection. He finished 16th nationally in RBI.
Coming on strong down the stretch, the 2014 Lions finished the season as the top hitting team in the Southland – compiling a conference-best .292 batting average, 356 runs scored, 616 hits, .385 on-base percentage, 101 HBPs, 32 sacrifice flies and 78 stolen bases.
Southeastern ranked among the best in the nation in batting average (35th), runs scored (34th), hits (20th), HBPs (9th), on-base percentage (17th), sac flies (23rd) and ERA (27th).
Under former coach Jay Artigues, Riser served as the Lions’ primary hitting coach while working extensively with the Southeastern outfielders. He also served as the third-base coach during games, and the program’s recruiting coordinator, among other duties during the past six seasons.
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. The former Lion closer is one of seven players coached by Riser that have been taken in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
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 eight All-Americans, including five 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. Jameson Fisher and Mason Klotz are the latest to have earned freshman honors following their stellar 2013 campaigns.
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 Artigues, the former Southeastern head coach and current director of athletics, 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 and wife Jeanette reside in Hammond.