By Ray Hamill — St. Bernard’s senior Caleb Ruiz may be done with high school baseball after Friday’s season-ending loss to Branson in the North Coast Section playoffs, but he’s already planning ahead to next year.
And he won’t be going too far.
The lone St. Bernard’s senior has told his coaches he will play at College of the Redwoods in 2020, joining Brad Morgan’s program and giving the Corsairs a huge boost going into the summer.
“Like I’ve said, he might be our only senior, but we had the best senior,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said of Ruiz, whom he feels is the best of a very talented group of H-DNL pitchers this spring.
The stats would appear to back that.
In 13 appearances this season, Ruiz was 7-4 with an ERA of just 0.90, while striking out a remarkable 127 in 62 innings.
“We’re definitely excited,” said Morgan, who plans on unveiling the new recruit at a media day next week. “He’s a big player to get this program moving forward.”
Ruiz will bring a lot more than just his talents on the mound, and has also been a reliable presence for the Crusaders both at the plate and defensively.
He batted a very impressive .358 this spring, third best on the team, with team-highs in RBIs (25) and triples (three), as well as hitting two home runs – in one game – and seven doubles.
Tomlin says he is excited to see one of his star players stay locally, but admits he will miss him.
“He’s a special kid to coach,” the St. Bernard’s head coach said.
Ruiz’s decision to play at CR is another big coup for a Corsairs athletic department that has been able to add a number of top local recruits this spring in a number of different sports.
“He’s a special player, and it’s going to be nice to be able to build around that,” Morgan said.