Kramer Robertson and Cole Freeman each passed on opportunities to sign with major league clubs after their junior seasons, returning to LSU to chase a national championship.
A year later, Robertson and Freeman not only booked trips to the College World Series, they were taken within 10 picks of each other Tuesday in the fourth round of the MLB draft.
This was the worst road trip of Kramer Robertson’s life.
Robertson, LSU's shortstop, was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 124th overall pick. Freeman, the second baseman, was taken by the Washington Nationals with 133rd overall pick.
"I knew for a while, for about an hour, that it might be where I was going," Robertson said. "But you just never know. As it got closer and closer, my heart started pounding really fast. I was getting really nervous. So we were sitting there and were refreshing it, refreshing it, refreshing it, and then we saw it pop up.
"I still can't believe we went that close (together). That's crazy. That stuff doesn't happen."
Robertson and Freeman were two of four Tigers to be chosen Tuesday and are among six LSU draftees overall. Pitcher Jared Poché (No. 261, Oakland Athletics) and catcher Michael Papierski (No. 271, Houston Astros) were selected in the ninth round.
Poché joins Tigers right fielder Greg Deichmann, who was taken with the 43rd overall pick in the second round Monday night, in the Athletics' system. Pitcher Alex Lange was selected by the Chicago Cubs on Monday with the 30th overall pick in the first round.
Hearing they were drafted is somewhat of a relief for the four LSU players, including Poché and Deichmann, who held off on their professional aspirations last summer and are now turning their attention to the College World Series.
"I think I can speak for all four of us or for everyone that's been drafted today," Poché said. "It's kind of like you got a weight lifted off your shoulders. I wasn't worried about it. I'm sure Alex and Greg were more worried about than me, Kramer and Cole because we're seniors.
"It's just like a weight lifted off your shoulders, and now we can just play baseball and not have to worry about anything. Just have a lot of fun and enjoy these, hopefully, two weeks."
While Paul Mainieri was busy Monday preparing to make yet another trip to the College World …
Several LSU signees went off the board, as well.
After College of Central Florida pitcher Nate Pearson was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 28th overall pick in Monday's first round, three more recruits have been chosen.
Pitcher Blayne Enlow, a St. Amant High graduate, was taken by the Minnesota Twins with first pick in the third round (76th overall). West Monroe center fielder Jacob Pearson was chosen by the Los Angeles Angels nine picks later (85th overall selection).
Proud to be apart of the Minnesota twins organization. All glory to the man above 🙌 pic.twitter.com/SSRAyiddqW— Blayne Enlow (@BlayneBlaynee) June 13, 2017
Chipola College third baseman Andrew Bechtold became the second LSU signee to be drafted by the Twins, taken with the first pick in the fifth round (136th overall pick).
The slot value on the pick of Enlow is $755,400. Pearson's slot value is $656,300. Bechtold's is $387,700.
Mainieri said Jacob Perason, Enlow and Bechtold have all agreed to terms with the organizations that drafted them. Nate Pearson is still negotiating with the Blue Jays, but Mainieri expects the right-hander to eventually sign with the club.
"It’s a little disappointing when you’ve recruited guys for so long and had them in the fold, and then they got popped early enough that they’re going to be swayed to play professional baseball," Mainieri said. "You just kind of have to lick your wounds and get yourself back looking at the roster for next year and figuring out you can make up for those losses."
Southeastern Louisiana right-hander Mac Sceroler was the highest pick to come out of the Southland Conference this season. The Cincinnati Reds selected him in the fifth round with the 137th overall pick Tuesday.
Sceroler said he plans to sign with the Reds, which means he will forgo his senior season with Southeastern.
"It feels awesome," he said. "I turned down the 36th round last year and came back to school. My goal all year was (to go in the) top five rounds. Accomplishing that goal and pursuing my dream, it's been a pretty remarkable day."
Former LSU pitcher Jake Latz was also taken in the fifth round (No. 164 overall) by the Cincinnati Reds. Latz, a left-hander who transferred to Kent State after an injury-plagued career with the Tigers, sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules.
The Major League Baseball scout couldn’t believe his eyes.
Draftees with Louisiana ties
RHP Nate Pearson, College of Central Florida (LSU signee), 28th pick, Toronto Blue Jays
RHP Alex Lange, LSU, 30th pick, Chicago Cubs
OF Greg Deichmann, LSU, 43rd pick, Oakland A’s
RHP Blayne Enlow, St. Amant (LSU signee), 76th pick, Minnesota Twins
CF Jacob Pearson, West Monroe (LSU signee), 85th pick, Los Angeles Angels
SS Kramer Robertson, LSU, 124th pick, St. Louis Cardinals
2B Cole Freeman, LSU, 133rd pick, Washington Nationals
3B Andrew Bechtold, Chipola College (LSU signee), 136th pick, Minnesota Twins
RHP Mac Sceroler, Southeastern Louisiana, 137th pick, Cincinnati Reds
LHP Jake Latz, Kent State (former LSU pitcher), 164th pick, Texas Rangers
LHP Jared Poché, LSU, 261st pick, Oakland Athletics
C Michael Papierski, LSU, 271st pick, Houston Astros