First, let's set the stage:
Texas A&M had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in Game 1 of the teams' series at Blue Bell Park in College Station, Texas. LSU had blown a four-run lead, and the Aggies were one hit away from stealing the victory. A&M sent leadoff man Blake Allemand to the plate against LSU closer Joe Broussard.
He delivered a fastball over the plate to the A&M infielder, and then Jared Foster made this happen:
“Your heart’s in your throat," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "And all the sudden Foster comes out of nowhere and makes an amazing catch.”
Foster had only entered the game in the previous inning, replacing Jake Fraley after Chris Chinea pinch-hit him for in the top of the eighth.
“[Mainieri] told me to get warm," Foster said. "So I went back in the tunnel and tried to run around. My arm wasn’t real loose, but coming off the bench after watching the whole game, it was pretty exciting to make that play.”
Nobody expected LSU to be in a situation where that kind of play was even necessary. LSU ace Aaron Nola started that ninth inning with a 4-0 lead, three outs away from another complete game shutout. But the wheels suddenly fell off.
Nola walked the leadoff man and gave up a single to put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly brought in the first run. Nola walked another batter, and that led to a pitching change. Broussard entered with one out and runners on first and second. He walked the first batter he faced to load the bases.
A wild pitch made it 4-2, but Broussard struck out the next batter to bring LSU one out from victory. Broussard couldn't seal it though, as pinch-hitter Jonathan Moroney delivered a two-run single to tie it. Broussard then walked two straight batters — one intentionally — to load the bases and set the stage for Foster's heroics.
“We had some unfortunate things happen, some bad luck," Mainieri said. "And next thing you know, they’ve got the bases loaded and if we can’t get this hitter out, the game’s over.”
Foster remembers assistant coach Will Davis adjusting his alignment in left field. Foster was too close to the line, so he took a few steps to his left. Then Allemand cracked that liner his direction.
“Just don’t go over my head," Foster remembers thinking. "That was my main thing. I thought it was going to beat me. It jumped off his bat, but I just came up with it.”
The first person to get to him after making that catch was Alex Bregman.
“I saw him with a big smile on his face," Foster said. "We were just screaming, and I saw the reaction of the fans. It was pretty sweet.”
Despite blowing a four-run lead in that ninth inning, it was suddenly LSU that had all the momentum. The Tigers came back to the dugout like they were the ones that had just overcome a massive deficit. They took advantage of that energy and scored what served as the game-winning run in the top of the 10th.
LSU went on to lose the series, dropping both games Saturday and Sunday. But the magnitude of Foster's catch still can't be overstated.
“It put a spark in us," Foster said. "To save the game like that with the bases loaded, two outs in the ninth, it’s like a movie.”