Hyde Park Panthers 2016 Baseball Preview
The 2016 Hyde Park Panthers return five starters from a 2015 state finalist team that saw its senior class win 84 games in four seasons. Gone are all-state winners Cooper Goen (TCU) and Jonathan Blitzer, who were a combined 15-2 on the mound last season. Manager Scott Ruffcorn, entering his fifth season at Hyde Park, hopes to replace that pitching production with junior Bo Stewart, an all-district performer last season, and senior Jason Ruffcorn. Stewart will start at shortstop when not on the mound.
Also returning for the Panthers are sophomore Seth Devries, an all-district outfielder a year ago, and senior Hayden Rich who earned a spot on the all-state tournament team in the outfield in 2015.
Manager Scott Ruffcorn believes his 2016 squad can make another run at the state tournament where they have ended their season twice in the last four years. With a solid nucleus returning, the Panthers’ starting pitching and defense should allow the Panthers to earn another bi-district championship, which they have won each of the past four seasons. Hyde Park will be tested early with games scheduled against Lake Travis, Bowie, and Westlake. The Panthers kick off their season against Del Valle on February 23.