Former Menifee resident and Linfield Christian High School graduate (2010) Niko Ruiz has just signed to play baseball with the Adrian Pioneers in Michigan for the inaugural season of the Independent Baseball League (IBL).
The new league features four teams playing from late May to late July. In addition to the Pioneers, teams include Tiffin (Ohio) Saints, Shovel City Crawlers (Marion, Ohio), and a league-operated travel team Ohio Travelers (based out of Marion, Ohio).
Ruiz was a two-sport star at Linfield Christian. He was a three-year varsity football player and part of the 2009 team that won a CIF Championship. Ruiz was named 2nd Team All-League and 2nd Team All-CIF.
Ruiz was also a four-year varsity baseball player (2B, C, and utility) and was named All-League every year (2007-10). He was Rookie of the Year in 2007; All-Valley Honorable Mention in 2009; and CIF Runner-up and team MVP in 2010.
Ruiz batted .354 in his senior year with 28 hits (eight doubles) and 21 RBI’s. He was four-of-four base stealing and had a fielding percentage of .974.