LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino finished the summer as the leading hitter on the USA Collegiate National Team, helping guide the club to the Bronze Medal in the Netherlands during the Honkbal Week at Pim Mulier Stadium.
Team USA finished its summer with a pair of international trips, traveling to face Cuba, before venturing to Haarlem in the Netherlands for Honkbal Week. USA suffered a loss in extra-innings in the semifinals on Saturday to Cuba, with Cuba winning in the 10th inning due to international tie breaker rules with runners placed at first and second base and no outs to start the frame. USA then won the bronze medal game vs. host Netherlands 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at Pim Mulier Stadium.
A native of Dublin, Ohio, Cousino paced USA in hitting with a .351 average (13-for-37) in 16 games, totaling four doubles, five RBI and 10 runs scored. Cousino stole three bases during the summer and owned a .479 on-base percentage and a .459 slugging mark with the wooden bats in the international competition.
The 2012 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year exploded after a slugging start in international competition at Cuba, going 2-for-3 with a double on July 8 and 2-for-3 at Cuba on July 9. In the hotly contested semifinal round vs. Cuba in Haarlem on Saturday, Cousino went 3-for-4 for Team USA.
The USA Collegiate National Team consisted of the top 22 players in college baseball, coached by Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano. Cousino was joined by several SEC stars, including Georgia shortstop Kyle Farmer, Mississippi State shortstop Adam Frazier, Florida right-hander Jonathan Crawford, Tennessee righty Zack Godley, Ole Miss right-hander Bobby Wahl and Arkansas righty Ryne Stanek.
Cousino had the most prolific season of any freshman in program history in 2012 for the Wildcats, leading the club with a .319 average and pacing UK to a school-record 45-win season. Cousino became the first UK star to win SEC Freshman of the Year, with the centerfielder also named second-team All-SEC, to the All-SEC Defensive Team and the All-SEC Freshman Team. Cousino was also named first-team Freshman All-America by Baseball America and Perfect Game USA and freshman All-America by Louisville Slugger and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
A 5-foot-9, 178-pound left-handed hitter Cousino led UK in nearly every offensive category, including at bats (260), runs (61), hits (83), doubles (20), triples (two), steals (15) and outfield assists (eight). Cousino added nine homers and 41 RBI, drawing 26 walks and getting hit by 13 pitches. In UK single-season history, Cousino’s 2012 ranks 12th in hits, 11th in doubles, second in at bats, sixth in starts and ninth in hit by pitches. He set a new UK single-season record with 142 putouts in centerfield and set new UK freshman records in hits and runs scored.