In January, McNeese sophomore infielder Austin Nelson underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor. It's safe to say he's "crushed" his recovery so far, as evidenced by a home run he crushed 450 fit in the opening round of the Southland Conference Tournament Wednesday.
The incredible comeback is not only impressive, but incredibly improbable. What started as vision issues turned into a horrible diagnosis — a rare skull-based brain tumor that, according to KPLC TV, was so rare a case study is being published about it.
Nelson had surgery to remove the brain tumor in January, but has quickly returned to the field. He told KPLC that he wasn't going to let the surgery hold him back from baseball — "People were saying that, 'you may never play again.' I was like, 'I'm going to play again. You're not going to stop me.'"
He was 100 percent correct, and proved it early this season, hitting a home run in just his third at-bat of the year. He's had a solid season since, and as of Wednesday's game is batting .333 on the year with 16 hits in 48 at-bats, including four home runs.
One of those home runs helped McNeese, the No. 1 seed in the Southland Conference Tournament, take down Lamar in the opening round on Wednesday by a 7-5 score. The Cowboys advanced to play No. 5 Central Arkansas on Thursday.
Check out the monster home run from Austin Nelson in the opening round game, shared by @SouthlandSports.
Wow… Austin Nelson… Wow.
January: Surgery to remove a brain tumor.
May: 450-ft BOMBS!
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) May 25, 2017