Former Riverside-Brookfield High School baseball star Joe Ruge was recently selected as part of the 2013 Rawlings NAIA Gold Glove team. Picked by the NAIA Baseball Coaches Association All-America Committee, the Gold Glove team honors the nation’s top defensive player at each of the nine positions.
The University of St. Francis junior first baseman finished with a .998 fielding percentage over 55 games. In his final 48 starts, the North Riverside native handled 468 of 469 total chances without committing an error.
During his three-year career with the Saints, Ruge has made only five errors in 1,063 chances (.995 fielding percentage). The slick-fielding first baseman also garnered Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Gold Glove honors in 2012 and 2013. This past spring, Ruge played a key role in guiding St. Francis to a 31-24 overall record including a 19-11 mark in the CCAC.
Ruge, a 2009 RBHS graduate, hit .383 with five homers and 45 RBIs (school record) during his stellar senior campaign with the Bulldogs. The two-time Metro Suburban Conference MVP also notched six wins with four shutouts and a 0.96 ERA as the Bulldogs won 26 games under head coach Mike Ziroli that spring. Ruge and Jon Kleinmeyer share the RBHS all-time record for most complete games with 10 apiece.