During Week 2 in 2003, the AZ Bounty
Hunters (AZ) competed at Cooperstown Dreams Park. One
of the members on the roster for the AZ Bounty Hunters
was Matt Hobgood.
Matt's baseball career continued at the high school
level, playing for Norco High School (Norco, CA), where
he was a starting pitcher and powerful hitter. A four-year
baseball letter winner, Matt led his team to back-to-back
playoff appearances in the CIF Southern Section Division
playoffs (2008 and 2009). Although Matt missed much
of his freshman season (2006) due to a fractured ankle,
he set 14 season and career records at Norco High School
(Victories, Won-Loss Percentage, Games Pitched, Innings
Pitched, Shut-outs, Runs Scored, Homeruns, RBI, and
Slugging Average). Matt also broke the Riverside County
(CA) single season high school home run record, hitting
21 during his senior year (2009). Matt's accolades include
Best Pitcher (2006-2007), First Team All League (2007),
and All-Riverside County Honorable Mention (2007).
Matt completed his senior year (2009) with an 11-1 record,
0.92 ERA, 101 strikeouts, walked 26 in 68 1/3 innings
while hitting 21 homers and batting .475 as a first
baseman. Between his junior and senior years, he compiled
a 21-1 record on the mound and 40 homeruns. These stats
led the way for Matt to receive the 2009 Gatorade National
Baseball Player of the Year award. Two days after receiving
the award, Matt was a first round pick by the Baltimore
Orioles and the 5th overall selection in the 2009 Major
League Baseball Draft.
In his first season at the minor league level, Matt
had a 1-2 record with a 4.72 ERA in eight games, playing
for the Bluefield Orioles (Bluefield, WV) of the Appalachian
League. He played for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds
(Salisbury, MD) during the 2010 season. In 2011, he
was with the Rookie League's Gulf Coast League Orioles
(Florida) and then the short-season Class A Aberdeen
IronBirds (Aberdeen, MD) of the NY-Penn League.
In addition to baseball, Matt played football and basketball
in high school. He was a center and power forward in
basketball and offensive line in football.