University of Kentucky center fielder Austin Cousino was named Southeastern Conference baseball Freshman of the Year, and the Wildcats' Gary Henderson was honored as the league's Coach of the Year on Tuesday.
Cousino, catcher Luke Maile and pitcher Corey Littrell were named to the All-SEC second team, and first baseman A.J. Reed was selected to the All-Freshman team along with Cousino. Cousino also made the All-Defensive Team. Voting was conducted by the league's coaches.
LSU outfielder Raph Rhymes was named SEC Player of the Year. Mississippi State's Chris Stratton received the Pitcher of the Year award.
Henderson, in his fourth season as UK's head coach, is the school's first baseball Coach of the Year since 2006. Henderson guided UK to the most regular-season wins in program history (41) and into the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. He also led the program to its first No. 1 national ranking. The Cats (43-16) open NCAA Tournament play Friday against Kent State at Gary, Ind.
"It's a nice honor for the program," Henderson said of his award. "It speaks to the kids that you have in your program. It speaks to your assistant coaches, support staff, everybody involved."
Cousino set UK freshman records for hits and runs scored this season. He leads UK in nearly every offensive category, including average (.318), at-bats (239), runs (56), hits (76), doubles (19) and steals (13), and he has nine homers and 38 RBI.
"It's hard to get somebody to be successful in this league as a freshman," Henderson said. "The fact that we've got Austin doing as well as he's done and the fact we have A.J. doing as well as he's done is something I'm really happy with and very proud to have them in our program and very encouraged by what they're going to bring to us for at least two more years."
Littrell, from Louisville's Trinity High School, is 8-2 with a 2.66 ERA.
Maile, the 2009 Kentucky Mr. Baseball out of Covington Catholic High School, is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, both given to the top player in collegiate baseball. Maile is batting .313 with 13 doubles, 12 homers and 49 RBI.
Reed, a finalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, is hitting .314 with nine doubles, four homers and 42 RBI. On the mound, he is 5-2 with a 2.62 ERA.