Cade Beloso’s 2022 college baseball season ended before it had even begun.
The LSU designated hitter was chomping at the bit to make his fourth year in Baton Rouge his most successful one yet. But moments before that season was to start, in the pregame huddle before the Tigers’ season opener against Maine, Beloso tore the ACL in his left knee.
Disheartened but not hopeless, Beloso had surgery last May and captioned an Instagram post of him in the hospital with the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11, flashing a thumbs up and promising to be “back on top soon.”
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Just more than a year later, in his fifth season with the Tigers, Beloso made good on his words. He hit a three-run home run in Sunday’s 8-3 win over Kentucky, a win that sent LSU to the Men’s College World Series for the first time since 2017.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) June 11, 2023
The New Orleans, Louisiana, native gave thanks to God in a tweet on Monday after his crucial three-run home run helped his team advance.
Thank you lord🙌🏼🙌🏼 Let’s Geaux. https://t.co/RE1eYCHNN8
— Cade Beloso (@cade_beloso) June 12, 2023
Beloso talked to local TV station KATC after the game about just how joyful the celebration of reaching the Men’s College World Series is.
“That’s what makes it so special, you know? We love each other. We love the coaching staff, and it just trickles on down,” he said. “We’re so excited.”
Beloso is fourth on the team with a .316 batting average and tied for fourth with 14 home runs this season. His batting average is a career high, and he’s matched his home run total from his first three seasons combined.
The ACL injury made Beloso’s decision to return for a fifth season in 2023 a relatively easy one. He didn’t want his college career to end with a regional loss to Southern Miss as he helplessly watched from the dugout.
Yet more than that, the injury also gave him a new sense of appreciation and changed the way he thought about baseball and his mental health. He explained his fresh perspective in a recent interview with the SEC Network.
“Surgery taught me so much, to appreciate the little things in life,” Beloso said. “My whole perspective of life completely changed, and I think that’s helped in my baseball game too. Every time I play a game, I don’t think about, ‘Man, I need to get a hit,’ or, ‘Man, I need to make that play.’ It’s just like, ‘Man, I get to play today.'”
"It's a no-brainer for me to tell my story. … Mental health matters." @LSUbaseball's Cade Beloso shared how seeing a sports psychologist changed his perspective on life, and helped make him a better baseball player. pic.twitter.com/Mp2hEmxyZp
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) May 26, 2023
The freedom Beloso has found in playing the game he loves comes ultimately from his relationship with God and the knowledge that he’s loved regardless of his performance.
On the outside of Beloso’s right arm is a tattoo that says “AO1” with a cross inside the “O.” It means “Audience of One” and is just one of the ways he publicly displays his faith. He’s also written “Audience of One” in his Twitter bio and “Follower of Christ” in his Instagram bio.
Though his time at LSU hasn’t gone exactly as he expected, Beloso wouldn’t change a thing.
“I just love it here so much,” he said in an interview with Fan Nation before this year’s super regional. “I thank God for blessing me with the ability to play here for five years. I would take all the ups and downs 10 years in a row. I would do this all over again in a heartbeat. I’m embracing all of the emotions.”
The Tigers are undefeated in five postseason games since the SEC Tournament and are set to face SEC foe Tennessee in their first World Series game on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. On Monday, they will face either Wake Forest or Stanford in their second game of the double-elimination event.
Beloso has played freely all season, and won’t stop any time soon. However the season ends and whatever happens next, Beloso has put his trust in God’s plan for him.
“I believe God has a plan for everybody,” he told LSUReveille.com last month. “Your plan’s laid out whether you know it or not, so you’ve just got to trust God’s plan with that. I think everything absolutely happens for a reason.”
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