GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- All-America centerfielder Austin Cousino went 3-for-5 with four RBI and his fourth homer of the year, a double and a steal, leading No. 9 Kentucky to a series-evening 11-5 win over Florida, on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in front of 3,120 at McKethan Stadium.
Kentucky (15-3, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) trailed 3-0 entering the top of the sixth inning, with Florida ace right-hander Jonathon Crawford twirling a two-hit gem. Kentucky rallied with two runs to get within striking distance before igniting for a five-run seventh inning to take a 7-3 lead, with Cousino smacking the go-ahead two-RBI single.
UK added a four-run ninth inning to stretch its lead, with Cousino’s two-run homer off the videoboard in rightfield highlighting the offensive explosion.
Cousino led the Wildcats at the plate with his 3-for-5 game, driving in four RBI and stealing his seventh base of the year. In 2013, Cousino has hit .319 with four doubles, four homers, 15 RBI and is a perfect 7-for-7 in stolen base tries.
“It is really nice to see Austin now two days into (SEC play),” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “Really good to see him get hot again. His swings were good. His bat speed is good. He is seeing it well; laying off the bad pitches, all the things you do when it is going your way. Really glad to see him get hot.”
“Coming into Saturday we wanted to even it up,” Cousino said. “Friday didn’t go the way we planned. We got some great innings out of (Jerad) Grundy, even though his stuff wasn’t top notch, or up to his ability. He battled hard and the offense came through in the sixth inning with (Kyle) Barrett and A.J. (Reed) that is what you have to do in these league games.”
UK got a big hit from A.J. Reed, who tripled home the first run of the game in the sixth inning as the Wildcats started to claw back into the game. Reed went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a walk, with Zac Zellers, J.T. Riddle, Max Kuhn and Micheal Thomas each adding hits. Thomas doubled for the first time in 2013 and Riddle added a pair of RBI, with Kyle Barrett and Matt Reida each recording RBI.
UK senior starter Jerad Grundy (4-1) turned in his fourth quality start of the year, despite battling through the first two frames with three runs allowed on five hits.