WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

Reed named SEC Player of the Year


LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky junior A.J. Reed has been named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and UK’s Ka’ai Tom, Max Kuhn, JaVon Shelby and Austin Cousino each earned honors, in the annual league awards, voted on by the SEC coaches and announced by the conference office on Tuesday morning.

A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed is the second player in Kentucky history to earn SEC Player of the Year honors and the first since Ryan Strieby was honored in 2006. A 6-foot-4, 240-pounder, Reed is the first UK player to earn back-to-back first-team All-SEC accolades since Terry Shumpert in 1986-87.

Reed, who leads the NCAA in homers, slugging and OPS (1.259), finished the regular season as the SEC leader in homers (23), RBI (70), wins (11), slugging (.768), on-base percentage (.491), total bases (162) and walks (47). He also ranks third in the SEC in average (.351), second in runs (59), ninth in hits (74), eighth in doubles (17), sixth in ERA (2.10), third in innings pitched (103.0) and ninth in strikeouts (68). In his three-year career, Reed has played in 168 games and hit .310 with 34 doubles, three triples, 40 homers and 165 RBI, while owning a 18-13 record and a 2.86 ERA in 239 innings on the mound.

Reed was also named first-team All-SEC as the designated hitter for the second consecutive year. He was joined on the first-team by UK sophomore Tom, who ranked second in the SEC in batting average in league games (.373). Kuhn, a junior third baseman, was named second-team All-SEC, with Shelby honored as the Freshman All-SEC second baseman. Cousino, a junior centerfielder, was named to the All-SEC Defensive Team for the third consecutive season.

Kuhn is UK’s first All-SEC third baseman since Thomas McCarthy earned the honor in 2011 after hitting .411 in league play. A native of Zionsville, Ind., Kuhn has hit in front of Reed in the order in all 58 games, batting .322 with 18 doubles, eight homers and 55 RBI, sporting a .494 slugging and a .434 on-base percentage. In his three-year career, Kuhn has hit .287 with 27 doubles, one triple, 13 homers and 87 RBI. Kuhn ranks as the SEC leader, and the NCAA leader among BCS conference schools, with 64 runs scored. He also ranks seventh in slugging, third in on-base percentage, third in hits (79), third in RBI, sixth in doubles, fifth in homers, fourth in total bases (121) and second in walks (41).

Shelby, a native of Lexington, Ky., and the brother of former UK All-SEC second baseman John Shelby, marks the sixth UK player to earn All-SEC freshman honors in the last three years. Shelby has hit .260 in his collegiate debut, with six doubles, two triples, four homers and 21 RBI, owning a .391 slugging and a .365 on-base percentage. Shelby is tied with Alabama outfielder Casey Hughston and teammate Storm Wilson as the SEC leader in homers among freshmen.

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award Winner in 2013 in centerfield, Cousino has again shined for the Wildcats up the middle. A native of Dublin, Ohio, Cousino totaled eight outfield assists while anchoring the UK defense for a third consecutive year. At the plate, Cousino – the 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year – has hit .298 with 14 doubles, four triples, four homers and 38 RBI, stealing 17 bases and owning a .435 slugging and a .355 on-base percentage. In his storied three-year career, Cousino has started 174 games, hitting .291 with 46 doubles, seven triples, 19 homers and 106 RBI, stealing 46-of-49 bases and sporting a .455 slugging and a .383 on-base percentage.

Kentucky (35-23) opens its eighth all-time NCAA Tournament on Friday in the NCAA Louisville Regional, facing Kansas at 2 p.m. ET at Jim Patterson Stadium.

SEC PLAYER OF THE YEAR - A.J. Reed, Kentucky
SEC PITCHER OF THE YEAR - Aaron Nola, LSU
SEC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - Logan Shore, Florida
SEC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – Seth Hick, Mississippi State
SEC COACH OF THE YEAR - Kevin O'Sullivan, Florida

FIRST TEAM
1B - Sikes Orvis, Ole Miss
2B - Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt
3B - Austin Anderson, Ole Miss
SS - Vince Conde, Vanderbilt
C - Taylor Gushue, Florida
OF - Auston Bousfield, Ole Miss
OF - Ka'ai Tom, Kentucky
OF - Christin Stewart, Tennessee
DH/UTL - A.J. Reed, Kentucky
P - Aaron Nola, LSU
P - Logan Shore, Florida
RP - Jacob Lindgren, Mississippi State

SECOND TEAM
1B - Eric Fisher, Arkansas
2B - Brett Pirtle, Mississippi State
3B - Max Kuhn, Kentucky
SS - Alex Bregman, LSU
C - Will Allen, Ole Miss
OF - Ben Moore, Alabama
OF - Harrison Bader, Florida
OF - Nick Banks, Texas A&M
DH/UTL - Wade Wass, Alabama
P - Ross Mitchell, Mississippi State
P - Carson Fulmer, Vanderbilt
RP - Joel Seddon, South Carolina

ALL FRESHMAN TEAM
1B - Peter Alonso, Florida
2B - JaVon Shelby, Kentucky
3B - John Sternagel, Florida
SS – Errol Robinson, Ole Miss
C - Gavin Collins, Mississippi State
OF – Nick Banks, Texas A&M
OF - Bryan Reynolds, Vanderbilt
OF - Andrew Benintendi, Arkansas
DH/UTL - Nick Senzel, Tennessee
P – Logan Shore, Florida
P - Keegan Thompson, Auburn
RP - Thomas Burrows, Alabama

ALL DEFENSIVE TEAM
P - Aaron Nola, LSU; Carson Fulmer, Vanderbilt
1B - Eric Fisher, Arkansas
2B - Brett Pirtle, Mississippi State
SS - Seth Heck, Mississippi State
3B - Joey Pankake, South Carolina
C - Jake Wise, Arkansas; Grayson Greiner, South Carolina
OF - Austin Cousino, Kentucky
OF - Tanner English, South Carolina
OF - Andrew Stevenson, LSU


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