MIAMI -- When the Florida Marlins open their 2011 season, they will do so with USF product Scott Cousins in the dugout.
Cousins, who was sent down to the minor leagues only days before the regular season began last year, earned his first big-league call up by the end of the summer on Sept. 2, 2010. The Reno, Nevada native appeared in 27 games last year, collecting 11 hits in 37 at bats for a .297 batting average.
The outfielder spent a good portion of his off-season working out at Benedetti Diamond and the Meyer Hitting Facility at the University of San Francisco.
"We are all extremely excited for and proud of Scott that he gets to open the season with the Marlins and experience his first opening day," USF coach Nino Giarratano said. "He's a wonderful human being and player who deserves all the thrills that come with opening day."
He is the first former USF position player to be on an opening day roster in more than 50 years since infielder Gil McDougald started for the New York Yankees throughout the late 1950s. Right-handed pitcher Justin Speier was the last Don to be included in an opening day roster, beginning the season with the Anaheim Angels in 2009.
Cousins was a first-team All-American selection his junior year at USF in addition to being named 2006 West Coast Conference Player of the Year that same season. He was a first-team All-WCC selection in 2005 and 2006, along with being named the Dons' Most Valuable Player in 2005 and 2006.
As a junior, Cousins led USF in hitting in 2006, with a .343 batting average and 46 RBI. He also pitched the third highest number of innings for the Dons in 2006, compiling a 4-3 record and 61 strikeouts. Cousins played a key role in elevating the Dons to their first WCC title in 2006 and inaugural trip to the NCAA Regionals.
The Marlins begin their 2011 season with a three-game home stand against the Mets beginning on Friday, April 1.
-Courtesy of USF Athletics