LSU baseball notebook: Jake Latz travels to Auburn; ‘if everything continues to go well’ he could be pitching in two weeks _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- LSU pitcher Jake Latz

Travis Roy is coming back home and following in the footsteps of his great grandfather.

LSU hired Roy to replace Jeremy Phillips as the baseball team’s head strength coach, plucking him away from the Florida State baseball team.

Roy begins work Monday at a place where his grandfather left a mark decades ago. Alvin Roy’s time as the LSU football team’s strength coach resulted in the school creating an award in his name.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Roy, a 25-year-old from Baton Rouge who graduated from Redemptorist High School and served as an LSU graduate assistant. “It’s a dream job for me.”

Roy will help with football, but his main duties lie with the Tigers’ baseball team, filling the role occupied by Phillips. Phillips left the program to return to his family’s home in Georgia, coach Paul Mainieri said. He served two stints at LSU, amounting to seven seasons.

“He just decided to change his career track,” Mainieri said. “He has twins and his wife is due with their third. He decided to move closer to both sets of grandparents. He’s going into the family business in Georgia.”

Mainieri and director of strength and conditioning Tommy Moffitt selected Roy after a short search. Roy spent the previous season as the Florida State baseball team’s head strength and conditioning coach. He served as a graduate assistant to Moffitt and Phillips before FSU baseball coach Mike Martin hired him.

“I recommended him highly to Mike Martin at Florida State,” Maineri said. “It was kind of awkward to call Mike and ask for permission to talk to him. He’s coming home.”

Indeed, he is.

His great grandfather developed a weight-training program in the 1950s after a tour of duty with the Army. Alvin Roy was seen as a pioneer in weight training athletes at the college and pro level.

At LSU, he trained Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon and was the strength instructor during LSU’s 1958 national championship squad.

“His family has quite a reputation,” Mainieri said of Roy.

The Alvin Roy Fourth Quarter Award is given annually to the LSU football player who had the best offseason.

“Coming back to LSU and getting to follow in his legacy is a huge for me,” Roy said.

LSU baseball begins fall practice Sept. 27. Individual work begins the first week of school, Aug. 25.

Latz ‘pretty fired up’

Left-handed pitcher Jake Latz struck out five over the weekend in his first competitive pitching performance in about a year and felt good in the days following the brief stint.

Latz, recovering from a stress reaction in his elbow, retired six of seven batters in a planned two inning start for the Dupage County Hounds, an Illinois-based summer league team. Latz retired the side in the first inning and allowed a leadoff triple in the second before stranding the runner at third with three strikeouts.

“He was pretty fired up,” Mainieri said Tuesday. “He felt relatively good the few couple of days after. Nothing out of the ordinary.”

Latz is set to pitch again either Friday or Saturday, Mainieri said. It’s unclear how long he’ll throw in the second game.

Latz, a highly touted prospect in LSU’s top-ranked 2014 signing class, missed last season with an elbow injury that flared up during preseason practice. His five months of rehabilitation ended a couple of weeks ago.

Latz is expected to join the Tigers for fall practice. He could challenge for a starting pitching job in the spring.

Bonus time

Mainieri received $235,000 in incentive bonuses last season.

Mainieri got bonuses for the following: SEC Western Division championship ($25,000), SEC regular-season championship ($35,000), APR above 930 mark ($50,000), NCAA regional appearance ($50,000), home NCAA super regional ($50,000) and College World Series appearance ($25,000).

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.