3.16.19 LSU vs Kentucky

LSU senior right-hander Devin Fontenot (28) celebrates during the Tigers' 2-1 victory over Kentucky on Saturday, March 16, 2019, in Alex Box Stadium.

What may have been the finest outing of Devin Fontenot's career will go down as a loss. However, Fontenot is all but responsible for LSU's 5-4 defeat at the hands of Florida State in game two of the Baton Rouge Super Regional.

He kept LSU's season alive for almost seven innings and was absolutely brilliant. He threw a no hitter for six innings before giving up his first hit of the game in the bottom of the 12th inning with the score tied at four.

Fontenot immediately followed the hit up by striking out his 11th batter of the game to get the second out of inning, and when it looked like he may escape with a runner on second, Florida State's Drew Mendoza hit a walk off single to right.

As soon as the ball left Mendoza's bat, Fontenot crumbled under the weight of feeling the guilt and responsibility of being the one who gave away LSU's season.

LSU coach Paul Mainieri saw Fontenot on his knees with his face buried in his hands, and Mainieri knew he had one job in that moment as a coach. He quickly ran out to the mound to reach Fontenot and reassure him.

"It was just an instinctive thing," Mainieri said as he was fighting back tears. "I know the kid pitched his heart out, he threw almost 100 pitches, he was devastated. I know how Devin is, he feels like he lost the game for our team, and I didn't want him to feel that way.

"I didn't want to see the kid out there by himself in pain. It's all I could think to do."

The moment follows every law of heartbreak in baseball. It's a game that will give you everything, but then break you in an instant.

It took 96 pitches for the game to finally snatch things away from Fontenot. He lasted 6.1 innings, giving up only two hits, both in the 12th inning, and two walks to go along with 11 strikeouts.

As Fontenot walked off the field with tears in his eyes, his effort was well noted by the crowd in Alex Box Stadium. The fans who pride themselves on being the best in college baseball gave Fontenot the standing ovation he deserved even in defeat.

"That performance by Devin Fontenot tonight — if we win the ballgame — we'd be talking about it 15 years from now," Mainieri said. "He gave it everything he had for our team. I'm just so proud for how Devin's come, and it makes you excited for his future as we go forward."

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