Saturday, September 26, 2009

2010 Newcomers Looking to Impress

As the Southeastern Louisiana baseball team gears up for its first team practice of the Fall on Sunday, Coach Jay Artigues has plenty to be excited about. Coming off his third consecutive 30 win season and returning 7 starting position players, 2 weekend starters, and his All-American closer it would seem things couldn’t get any better.

Enter his 2010 signing class.

Artigues welcomes 8 highly touted signees who will look to make their mark during the Fall. The 2010 signing class includes 6 players from the Louisiana high school ranks and two junior college transfers. Pitching coach/recruiting coordinator Justin Hill and assistant coach Matt Riser are credited for bringing in a class the Lion Nation is ecstatic about.

The class is led by Pearl River native Chad Fortenberry, the 43rd round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Northshore High School product passed on signing a professional contract with the Dodgers and has landed in Hammond.  Fortenberry led Northshore to the 5A State Championship where he was named the tourney’s MVP. The All-State catcher hit .536 with 7 Hrs and 18 RBIs.

Hometown favorite Ryan Downing, from Hammond’s St. Thomas Aquinas, elected to stay close to home to play his college ball. The shortstop is the 2 time district 9-2A Player of the Year and 2 time All-State selection, who hit .474 his senior season.

Bringing with him the athleticism and toughness that has become the trademark of Artigues’ teams, Brock Hebert will look to earn a spot in the middle infield. The South Terrebonne shortstop, who hails from Bourg, LA, was named the District 9-5A MVP as well as earning a spot on the All-State team. Hebert was also named the MVP of the Daily Comet/The Courier’s All Region team after hitting .404 with 12 2B, 1 HR, and 19 RBIs.

Jordan Hymel, a LHP from Gramercy, LA, comes to the Lions as a Honorable Mention All-State selection out of Lutcher High School. While at Lutcher, Hymel built a reputation as a winner, as he compiled a 4-0 record to go along with a 0.68 ERA.

After putting up some impressive numbers during his career at New Iberia High School, Stefan Lopez will look to help the Lions on the mound and at the hot corner. The New Iberia native was named All-State, All-Acadian, and district MVP as a junior. Lopez hit .478 with 8 HR to go along with a 3.27 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 68.1 innings pitched.

Matt Pittari looks to bolster the Lions pitching staff with a dependable left arm. The southpaw garnered All-District honors at Mandeville’s Fontainebleau High School. Pittari’s good command and sharp slider impressed the coaching staff.

RHP Mat Cox, from Meridian Community College, brings with him to Hammond competitiveness and control of the strike zone. The Fulton, MS native compiled a 4-0 record with 18 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched during his 2009 campaign at MCC. In the classroom Cox earned Phi Theta Kappa honors.

Tanner Lorenz, a 6-7 240lb RHP gives the Lions pitching staff a power arm to lean on. The Harvey, ND native helped lead Iowa Western Community College to the 2008 and 2009 NJCAA World Series. Lorenz has good baseball blood lines, as his dad was a 1st round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in the 1977 MLB draft.

2010 Southeastern Louisiana Signees:

Pos   Name   Previous School   Hometown

C   Chad Fortenberry   Northshore High   Pearl River, LA

SS   Ryan Downing   St. Thomas Aquinas   Hammond, LA

SS   Brock Hebert   South Terrebonne High   Bourg, LA

LHP   Jordan Hymel   Lutcher High   Gramercy, LA

RHP/3B   Stefan Lopez   New Iberia Senior High   New Iberia, LA

LHP   Matt Pittari   Fontainebleau High   Mandeville, LA

RHP   Mat Cox   Meridian CC   Fulton, MS

RHP Tanner Lorenz Iowa Western CC Harvey, ND

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