Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Cousino Takes on Leadership Role in Third Year

UK Baseball 02 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (2/10/14) – There is one common thread that stands out when looking at the most successful teams in Kentucky history: leadership.

The 2006 Southeastern Conference Championship team had Andrew Albers, Collin Cowgill and Ryan Strieby.

The 2008 club had Albers, Cowgill and Sawyer Carroll.

In 2012, UK was led by star catcher Luke Maile, All-SEC third baseman Thomas McCarthy and fiery closer Trevor Gott.

Entering the 2014 season, Kentucky is hoping that its leadership will come in the form of its dynamic junior centerfielder, Austin Cousino, who has earned rave reviews for his progress as a vocal and emotional forerunner during the fall and preseason.

  • As a freshman on the 2012 record-setting club, Cousino played a key role as the leadoff hitter and defensive dynamo in centerfield.
  • He and Maile tied for the team lead with a .319 average, with Cousino belting nine homers and driving in 41 runs en route to SEC Freshman of the Year honors.
  • While hitting leadoff in 62 games, Cousino was the sparkplug at the top of the order and brought an energetic presence to the UK club.
  • Following the summer, Cousino went on to lead the USA Collegiate National Team in hitting, including a historic series win in Cuba and a gold medal at Honkbal Week in the Netherlands.
  • That led to the Dublin, Ohio, native entering his sophomore year as the Baseball America preseason SEC player of the year.


The 5-foot-10, 185-pound left-handed hitter got off to a slow start in non-league play, as teams worked around the dynamic hitter with a blossoming résumé.

He finished with a .249 average, belting 12 doubles, one triple, six homers and 27 RBI, stealing 14 bases. In SEC play alone, Cousino finished with a .270 average.

“It definitely humbled me,” Cousino said. “It can only help because some people never experience that kind of failure before, maybe not until their second or third year of pro ball. Looking back on it, obvi-ously it was tough, it was a roller coaster, but I learned a lot about myself and how to overcome it. You can take for granted sometimes what you’ve done in the past. The SEC is a grind and it is not how you start but how you finish. You can look at that from freshman year. It is a long season and you have to take it one at-bat, one pitch at a time.”

Defensively he continued to shine, becoming the third player in program history to win the Rawlings Gold Glove, given to the nation’s top outfielder.

“It was something that couldn’t have happened without the pitching staff and the players around me,” Cousino said. “It was a cool award to win. Other than that it is just something that you put on the shelf and you look back on. The team goals are something that you really want. To be able to host and get to a super (regional) and make it to Omaha is the priority.”

After the 2013 campaign, Cousino joined Team USA for a second tour, batting .273 in 22 games and 19 starts, belting one homer and driving in seven runs.

“It is always a cool experience to be a part of USA Baseball,” Cousino said. “It is first class and everything you do with it is enjoyable. It is fun. It is entertaining. You get to do a lot of cool stuff. But the best part is the relationships that you form and the people that you meet.”

He was joined for the first portion of the summer by his UK classmate, two-way standout A.J. Reed, who split time between Team USA and the Cape Cod League.

“A.J. was my locker mate (with Team USA),” Cousino said. “It was cool, knowing someone that you are close to going into it made it a bit more comfortable. He is a great player. And while he didn’t stay the whole summer, he did play to the best of his abilities while he was there and he enjoyed the whole experience.”

Following the summer, Cousino arrived in Lexington for the fall practice season focused and prepared to help lead the Wildcats back where they left off in 2012.

“The swing is good,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said about Cousino’s development through the fall. “He has worked hard. You are going to see a stronger body and a little bit more athletic look. The swing has always been nice. It has been a pretty swing, really. What you are going to see is a much more disciplined approach and a freer mind. We are really excited about what Austin has done.”

After a great fall, Cousino earned praise for his on-field progress but most notably to the UK coaching staff was his vocal leadership presence.

“That is the coolest part about this team is everyone buys in,” Cousino said. “We have great leadership this year. We have some kids that like each other and we are excited to get the season going. Everyone is aware and everyone is important. There is no separation because at the end of the year in a regional, you just don’t know who you are going to need in a 22-inning game. We have guys that came in focused from day one and it is great that the younger guys were open to the older guys leading the way, Micheal Thomas, A.J., Max, Reida, Chandler. The new guys didn’t come in hard-headed but just with a knack to work hard. They understand how we want to do things around the program and we have done a pretty good job so far.”

SurfKY News
Information provided by UK Athletics

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Providence Police Arrest Report - April 15, 2014

PROVIDENCE, Ky. (4/15/14) — The Providence Police Department released the following reports Tuesday, April 15. Timothy… Read More

OPD’s Annual 5K Run and Police Awareness Day April 26

OWENSBORO, Ky. (4/15/14) — The Owensboro Police Department is excited to announce the Second Annual "Run from the Cops… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 16, 2014 17655

UPDATE- Sheriff's Office Following Leads…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 14, 2014 5808

U.S. Bank Hanson on Lockdown Due to Bomb…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 14, 2014 5097

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 13, 2014 4332

One Dead in Two Vehicle Head On Collision

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 15, 2014 2804

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 14, 2014 5097

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 13, 2014 4332

One Dead in Two Vehicle Head On Collision

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 15, 2014 2804

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 12, 2014 2742

One Injured in Two Vehicle Accident in…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 15, 2014 2325

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 14, 2014 1720

Grow Garden Grow - Spring Has Sprung

in News by Barbara Cecil Russ
April 15, 2014 1044

Owensboro Police Investigate Auto Accident

in News by Michael Hathaway
April 13, 2014 912

Two Daviess County Men Busted for…

in Top Stories by Scott Gibbs
April 15, 2014 797

Owensboro Parks Offers Tennis Lessons

in News by Britni Bunn
April 14, 2014 578

Owensboro Health Hosts Tours for…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 13, 2014 2663

Muhlenberg 4-H is Buzzing

in Top Stories by Janie Culton
April 14, 2014 2050

MCC Staff Shares Good News with…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 16, 2014 1776

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 15, 2014 1353

'Walk Right Back' An Everly Brother's…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1273

Local MCHS Students Train at Job Corps

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03