LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky juniors Austin Cousino and A.J. Reed have been named to the 60-man preseason watch list for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate player, it was announced.
USA Baseball annually gives the Golden Spikes Award to the top player in amateur baseball, with the preseason list trimmed to 40 players on April 10 with the semifinalists are announced on May 27.
Cousino and Reed mark the third consecutive season a UK player has earned a spot on the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Watch List, as Trevor Gott and Luke Maile were on the 2012 Golden Spikes mid-season watch list and Cousino and Corey Littrell were on the preseason watch list in 2013.
Cousino, UK’s preseason All-America centerfielder, is off to a strong start to open the 2014 season, batting .444 through four games, with two doubles, one homer and three RBI, stealing two bases. In his three-year career Cousino, a two-time member of the USA Collegiate National Team, has hit .294 (143-for-487) with 34 doubles, three triples, 16 homers and 71 RBI, stealing 31-of-33 bases.
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed has hit .353 to open 2014, with two doubles, one homer and six RBI. On the mound, Reed picked up a win in the season opener vs. No. 1 Virginia, tossing five innings for UK’s fourth win over a top-ranked foe over the last three years. A 6-foot-4 southpaw, Reed has hit .292 (126-for-431) in his career, with 19 doubles, two triples, 18 homers and 101 RBI. During a first-team All-Southeastern Conference season in 2013, Reed ranked fourth in the SEC in homers (13) and RBI (52). On the mound in his career, Reed has worked in 31 games and started 20, owning a 3.38 ERA in 141 innings, walking 27 and striking out 105.
Kentucky returns to action on Friday in Norfolk, Va., against St. Joseph’s at 12 p.m. ET on the campus of Old Dominion. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with Dick Gabriel voicing the action.