LEXINGTON, Ky. -- For the second consecutive year, Kentucky sophomore center fielder Austin Cousino has been named to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, as announced Tuesday afternoon.
A native of Dublin, Ohio, Cousino returns to Team USA a year removed from leading the club in hitting. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound left-handed hitting center fielder is the first player in Kentucky history to earn a spot on the Collegiate National Team multiple times in his career. He is just the second UK player in program history to play on the Collegiate National Team, and the third student-athlete in UK annals to play for USA Baseball internationally.
Cousino joins catcher John Wilson (1999) as the only Wildcats to play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, with outfielder Chad Green (1996) playing on the United States Olympic Team. In 2006 and 2007, UK outfielders Collin Cowgill and John Shelby were invited to Team USA Trials but were not selected for the club.
Cousino, the Baseball America preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, will be managed on the 2013 Collegiate National Team by TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle.
Last summer with USA Baseball, which was led by Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano, Cousino paced the club with a .351 (13-for-50) average, with four doubles and five RBI, sporting a 8-8 walk-strikeout ratio and stealing 3-of-4 bases. The team won the bronze medal during the Honkbal-Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands and also ventured to Cuba to face the Cuban National Team. The 2012 squad finished with a 12-5 overall record.
In his two-year career, Cousino has started 101 games, posting a .301 average (123-for-409) with 29 doubles, three triples, 13 homers and 63 RBI, stealing 27-of-29 bases and sporting a .403 on-base percentage. In his 48 career SEC games, Cousino has hit .306 (56-for-183) with 15 doubles, one triple, seven homers, 28 RBI and 13 steals. His .313 average in SEC play in 2013 marks his best career mark.
In 2012, Cousino was named SEC Freshman of the Year, after leading the Wildcats in nearly every offensive category, batting .319 in 62 games, with 20 doubles, two triples, nine homers, 41 RBI and 15 steals. In 2013, Cousino has hit .268 with nine doubles, one triple, four homers and 22 RBI, stealing 12-of-13 bases.
A 2011 first-team All-America outfielder by Baseball America at Dublin Coffman High School, Cousino will be making his third career appearance on a USA Baseball National Team, as he was named the MVP of the International Baseball Federation “AA”/16U World Championship while starring for the USA Baseball 16U National Team in 2009. During his 2009 summer, Cousino hit .545 (24-for-44) with 16 extra-base hits.
No. 24 Kentucky (24-15) continues a season-long, seven-game road trip with a midweek matchup at Western Kentucky on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET at Bowling Green Ballpark.