Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Ruiz works hard for his team and his family

Aaron Valdez, Staff Writer

The Rio Hondo baseball team’s Antonio Ruiz looks to continue his well-earned success down the final stretch of the season.

Being the team’s pitcher and right fielder, Ruiz has plenty of work cut out for him. Luckily for the roadrunners, he not only provides but also goes well beyond any expectations.

A native of the nearby city of El Monte, the 19-year-old decided to attend Rio Hondo College because of the convenience and recommendations he heard from former coaches who were alumni.

Ruiz’s time in high school was filled with peaks and valleys due to him attending a total of three schools, which include El Monte, La Salle, and finally San Gabriel.

One of the biggest challenges Ruiz has faced was suffering a severe knee injury during his junior year of high school that hindered his reputation amongst college scouts.  Fortunately for him, the young prospect worked through his tedious rehab assignments thus giving him the strength to come back and have a great senior year.

Of course, Ruiz was quick to mention that his family members are his biggest supporters due to the fact that they attend every one of his games no matter how far. He also praises his father and grandfather for being his biggest sources of inspiration making him fall in love with the game of Baseball in the first place.

While being mostly on the quiet side, Ruiz lets his actions do the talking which sets an example for the rest of his teammates.  On the field, his efforts and concentration never seem to go unnoticed.

“I don’t really tell players what to do but I always go after it so that other players can see so that they’ll try to hard working too.” Said Ruiz.

Ruiz admits his performance last season was not up to par because of his individualistic and selfish type of play. However, Ruiz credits Head Coach Mike Salazar and the rest of the coaching staff for bringing him back down to earth and developing him into a valuable team player.

As of now, The Roadrunners finished second in the Foothill Conference behind San Bernardino with a record of 18-6 and 26-10 overall. Just like his team, Ruiz had an outstanding year finishing the season with a .451 batting average, 3 homeruns, 34 RBIs, and pitched an ERA of .35.

Academically, Ruiz is currently unsure of what his exact plans are but knows he eventually wants to move to a four-year university. He also hopes to be drafted by an MLB team even though he already did once after high school by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Even with Baseball taking up much of his schedule, Ruiz still enjoys to spend time with his friends from high school and go on hikes in his free time.

With the playoffs just on the horizon, Ruiz is confident that he and the team will overcome any obstacle that comes in their way.

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Rio Hondo College Newspaper
Ruiz works hard for his team and his family