Two Cajuns And Two Tigers Share Childhood Bond Of Baseball
As Saturday night draws closer, the state of Louisiana focuses its attention on the in-state matchup in the Baton Rouge Regional between the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns and LSU Tigers.
While tickets sell for $800 on the secondary market and some loud members of each fanbase engage in trash talk, four friends will write another chapter in a baseball journey they've shared for well over a decade.
"We were 7 or 8 years old playing with the Lake Area Pirates," explained Ragin' Cajun freshmen shortstop Kennon Fontenot. "We've very close."
Fontenot is referring to teammate Gunner Leger, and LSU freshmen twin brothers Beau and Bryce Jordan.
The Lake Charles foursome played baseball together since they were young children, accomplishing elite achievements along the way.
"I can remember when were were 10 years old we went up to North Carolina to play in a little league world series," said Fontenot. "When we were 12 we went to the Little League World Series. Then we went to state twice in high school and were named National Champions are senior year."
The four close friends starred at Barbe high school together, earning D1 scholarships after standing out in one of the best high school baseball programs in America. With Leger and Fontenot going to Louisiana, and the Jordan brothers joining LSU, the Wally Pontiff Classic in New Orleans on March 31rst marked the first time in over a decade they competed against each other on the diamond.
With a trip to the College World Series on the line, the stakes are higher this time, bringing with it a little friendly trash talk.
"There’s been a little trash talking. It hasn’t been too bad," explained Louisiana pitcher Gunner Leger." I love those guys and would do anything for them. They’re the brothers I never had and so it’ll be fun to go back and play them."
While Beau and Bryce are brothers, Fontenot and Leger refer to them as the same. Brothers compete. It's to be expected.
Some athletes over the years claimed they could never be friends with their competition, because, well, they're too competitive.
So what would one say to competitive friends? To competitive brothers? What about friends who battle it out on a driveway in a game of one on one? Or get a little too into a game of rock, paper, scissors?
The truth is, friendships and brotherhood strengthen through competition.
"I talked to them (Bryce and Beau) today," said Fontenot on Thursday, moments before boarding the team bus to Baton Rouge. "All 4 of us are planning on eating dinner tonight and hanging out. We haven’t seen each other since we played in New Orleans."
Just as LSU learned, when it comes to the Jordan brothers, you'll never have one without the other.
“It’s always both of them," Leger explained. "They’re a package deal. You never get one alone. They’ll tell you that.”
The four longtime teammates were a package deal at Barbe high, achieving the ultimate prize of a national championship. Once again, they'll take the diamond on Saturday with a chance to capture another national title, on an even higher level, with one big difference.
Leger, Fontenot, and the Jordan brothers will soon write another chapter in their lifelong friendship. When the Baton Rouge Super Regional comes to an end, it will only bring them closer.
"It’s fun. We kind of have friendly trash talk back and forth but at the end of it, whoever makes it (to Omaha) makes it," says Fontenot. "We like the competition, it’s fun, but at the end of it all, we’re still going to be brothers."
Nothing can break a brotherly bond. Not even a competition with an ultimate dream on the winning end.