While playing for Nicholls State in 2020, Brayden Jobert knocked a solo home run against LSU to seal a 4-2 victory over the Tigers.
The left-handed batter was actually responsible for two of those four runs in the victory, having brought home a batter from third earlier that evening for an RBI.
He didn't know it at the time, but coach Paul Mainieri would ask him to come over to the other side almost two years later — and coincidentally, before Jay Johnson knew he was taking over as coach at LSU, he met Jobert at the Tucson Super Regional in 2021 while coaching the Arizona Wildcats.
Delgado Community College coach Joe Scheuermann was the NCAA site representative in Tucson, an ambassador to help make sure the tournament ran smoothly, and to serve as a resource for visiting teams. It was a strange twist of fate.
When Johnson got the job at LSU, Mainieri mentioned Jobert's home run during their first phone call. Jobert had spent his 2021 season with Scheuermann at Delgado before playing this summer in Bluefield, West Virginia.
"He's a quick learner: He called me and we were discussing some things about summer baseball that were happening with him and his at-bats, and then he immediately put some (new) things into play," Johnson said. "It really took off in a real positive way, and he's carried that into fall practice."
Some of those things: putting his foot down quicker to get into a better launch position.
Johnson is a big fan of left-handed hitters; his starting lineup at Arizona had seven of them in its final game against Vanderbilt in the 2021 College World Series. That's part of why he was thrilled to have Jobert committed before he got there.
But Johnson knew he had his work cut out for him in the bullpen, and he hustled to lock in transfers like San Francisco right hander Eric Reyzelman and Southeastern Louisiana left-hander Trey Shaffer.
Reyzelman entered the transfer portal without sights set on a certain school; just a new beginning. He had Tommy John surgery in 2020, and when he returned for the 2021 season, he posted a 6.17 ERA through 10 starts.
Reyzelman spent a month working with former MLB pitcher Dave Coggin before playing summer ball with the Cape Cod.
There, Reyzelman posted a 2.93 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 27-plus innings and six games, earning him a spot on the Cape Cod All-Star Team.
LSU offered him just one game into his summer season. He only took a day to commit.
"From the second I spoke to (pitching) coach (Jason) Kelly on the phone, it was almost a done deal for me," Reyzelman said. "The way that he verbalized the work that we would be doing, and what he thought he could do with me as a pitcher and with us as a team — it was clear that him and coach Johnson had a vision for the way they wanted this team to compete."