It is close freezing outside, much of the Bluegrass just experienced its first snowfall of the season, and most are at home warming by the fire. But that is not stopping the Kentucky baseball team from knocking off the rust and getting back into game-ready form. It is also not stopping the college baseball media outlets from releasing news that pertains to our Cats.
Kentucky sophomore centerfielder Austin Cousino and junior southpaw Corey Littrell have each been selected second-team preseason All-America by Louisville Slugger and the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, it was announced Friday.
This is the second preseason All-America honors for Cousino and Littrell, who were also named third-team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Also making that third-team was sophomore A.J. Reed, following a consensus first-team freshman All-American season in 2012.
The honors for Cousino and Littrell are the first preseason All-American awards for Kentucky baseball since Chris Bisson was honored prior to the 2010 season.
Kentucky baseball was just tabbed the No. 8 team in the country by Collegiate Baseball — the best preseason ranking in school history, coming off one of the best seasons in the history of the program which saw the team collect 45-wins and earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Speaking of the tournament, it was also announced Friday the 2013 Southeastern Conference Tournament is expanding to include 12 teams, up from the 10-team format from years prior. The expansion was due in large part to the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M to the conference.
The SEC Tournament will consist of 5-12 seeds meeting in single-elimination format on the opening day in Hoover, Alabama. The top four seeds are guaranteed a first-round bye. After opening day, the tournament will move to the traditional double-elimination format from Wednesday through Friday. The tournament will return to single-elimination on Saturday.
Last season Kentucky finished third in the SEC Tournament, going 2-1 overall, losing to No. 21 Mississippi State in the semifinals.