LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky centerfielder Austin Cousino and left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed have been named first-team freshman All-America by Perfect Game USA, marking consensus freshman All-America honors for the UK duo in 2012, it was announced.
The Perfect Game USA nod marks consensus freshman All-America accolades for the UK duo, becoming the first Kentucky players in school history with consensus freshman All-America honors. The two standouts join former shortstop Chris Wade (2008) as the only freshman All-America selections in school history.
Cousino, a native of Dublin, Ohio, led the team in batting as a freshman, hitting .319 to go along with nine homers from the leadoff spot to become the first UK player in school history to be voted Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year by the league coaches. Cousino’s freshman numbers matched up with the best in the SEC, knocking a team-high 20 doubles, second most in the conference to go along with 61 runs scored, the second most in the SEC.
Kentucky’s everyday centerfielder put his mark on the program in his first 62 collegiate games, setting new freshman records in hits and runs scored. Cousino finished the year with a .515 slugging percentage, a .408 on-base mark, with 41 RBI and a team-high 15 stolen bases. Cousino, a 5-foot-10, 178-pound left-handed hitter, ran up two 14-game hitting streaks in 2012 and collected the second-most multiple-hit games (28) in UK single-season history. Defensively, Cousino set a new UK outfielder record with 142 putouts, leading the SEC in outfield assists.
The awards have piled up for Cousino in the offseason, earning SEC Freshman of the Year, All-SEC Defensive Team and second team All-SEC honors. Cousino’s Perfect Game USA first-team Freshman All-America honor goes along with his first-team freshman All-America selections from Baseball America, Louisville Slugger and a second-team nod on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-America list.
Reed was selected to the first team as a utility player, following a freshman year that included a .300 batting mark, with four homers and 43 RBI to go along with a 5-3 record on the mound and 2.52 ERA.
The native of Terre Haute, Ind., was a force in the middle of the lineup for Kentucky while starring on the mound as a midweek starter and key reliever for the Wildcats. Reed tossed 53.2 innings while striking out 51 and allowing just 15 earned runs. He had a pair of heroic postseason performances in 2012, including starting his first career game against SEC foes in the SEC Tournament opener, tossing 5.2 shutout innings and going 4-for-4 at the plate with a homer in a 2-0 win. In the 21-inning NCAA Tournament opener, Reed played the first nine innings as the designated hitter, then moved to first base for three innings before coming on in relief for a career-high nine innings.
Reed’s awards have also accumulated this offseason, being selected to the All-SEC Freshman team twice, as the first baseman and as the designated hitter/utility player. Reed was also selected first-team freshman All-America by Baseball America, the NCBWA and Louisville Slugger.
The two freshman standouts helped lead UK to a school-record 45 win season and the best finishes in the NCAA and SEC Tournaments in program history. UK finished the season with a school-record nine players picked in the 2012 MLB Draft – second most in the NCAA – and currently lead the nation with nine players in the Cape Cod League or on the USA National Team.