Bishop Amat’s Rio Ruiz won a gold medal over the weekend on the winning Babe Ruth team in the Tournament of Stars in North Carolina, a 3-2 victory over AABC. Then more good news came for the Big River on Monday as Ruiz was one of 40 players selected to the 18 and under U.S. National teams trial roster.
Here’s where it gets interesting: The 18U National Team Trials are running today through June 30 in North Carolina, and will conclude with the inaugural Prospect Classic. The two-game series will match the 18-U team against USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, July 1-2 in North Carolina. After that is concluded, team officials will select 28 players for the second round of trials Sept 12-21 in North Carolina. From there, 20 will be selected to compete in the 2011 COPABE Pan American AAA/18U Championships in Cartagena, Colombia, Sept. 23-Oct. 2.
OUTLOOK: What does this all mean for Rio and the Bishop Amat football team? It means their senior quarterback misses a few practices now, with the big decisions coming if Ruiz makes the 28-man roster in September, or the 20-man roster late September and early October. In other words, do you play for USA baseball, Bishop Amat football or both? I spoke with Rio’s father, Rudy Ruiz, who said he will cross that decision-making bridge if Rio continues advancing with USA baseball. Rudy Ruiz said he will speak with Amat coach Steve Hagerty to discuss the scenario’s and how it will work out. When I spoke with Hagerty, he said the news was to fresh to comment on. There are other things to consider such as school and the length of time he would have to miss. It’s a unique situation, of the 40 players selected, Rudy Ruiz believes Rio is the only one who plays football for their high school team. My gut feeling is that Rio would opt to play football if a decision had to be made, but playing for your National Team in the Pan-Am championships in Colombia is as tempting as it gets.