Kentucky baseball has earned the highest preseason ranking in the history of the program.
Three Cats named preseason All-America
Outfielder Austin Cousino, pitcher Corey Littrell and two-way star A.J. Reed were third-team selections in the voting.
Cousino, the 2012 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, and Reed were consensus freshman All-America selections a year ago. Littrell is coming off a sophomore season which saw him become only the second UK starting pitcher since 1997 to earn All-SEC honors.
A native of Dublin, Ohio, Cousino became the first player in program history to be voted SEC Freshman of the Year in 2012, leading UK in average (.319), at bats (260), runs (61), hits (83), doubles (20) and steals (15).
Littrell, the 2010 Louisville Slugger Kentucky High School Player of the Year out of Trinity High School, had a dominating 2012 season as UK's Sunday starter. The native of Louisville, Ky., led UK with a 9-2 record and a 2.74 ERA, making 16 weekend starts with 87 strikeouts in 98.2 innings.
Reed's 2012 season earned him consensus first-team freshman All-America honors, batting .300 (60-for-200) with nine doubles, four homers and 43 RBI and going 5-3 with a 2.52 ERA on the mound. A 6-foot-4, 240-pound lefty, Reed worked 53.2 innings, walking only nine and striking out 51. He finished 2012 ranked second on the team and 11th in the SEC with 43 RBI and led UK in hitting against SEC foes, batting .324 with two homers and 15 RBI.
Kentucky opens the 2013 season on Feb. 15 at 12 p.m. ET vs. UNC Asheville in Spartanburg, S.C., on the campus of Wofford. The Wildcats return six position starters and eight key members of a dynamic pitching staff that paced UK to a school-record 45 wins in 2012.
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