Turlocks Tommy Mendonca laces a double to rightfield Thursday as the newest member of the Bakersfield Blaze of the California League – Photo by Dan Louis
Modesto – Former Turlock High Bulldog Tommy Mendonca is fast-tracking it through the Texas Rangers’ pro baseball organization as he was just called up to the Bakersfield Blaze, a high “A” team in the California League.
After winning the College World Series with Fresno State in 2008 and when Mendonca was voted World Series MVP, he has quickly moved through the ranks in his pro ball efforts.
Tommy Mendonca was Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and second-team All American in 2009 as he played for Fresno State.
Mendonca was drafted 62nd overall by the Texas Rangers in the Major League Baseball draft this year. He started his pro baseball play with the Spokane Indians where he was hitting .309 with 9 home runs and 26 RBI in 49 games.
Mendonca was called up to the Texas Rangers’ high single “A” team, the Bakersfield Blaze, to play in the California League starting Thursday, August 27, 2009.
Fortunately for Mendonca, his move up in pro ball would occur right in his hometown’s backyard as the Bakersfield Blaze played the Modesto Nuts on Thursday night. Within 24 hours, Mendonca hopped on a plane, was getting picked up by his parents, staying at their house, and playing only minutes away in Modesto in front of a supportive hometown crowd.
Mendonca handled his third base position and batted 1-4 with a double after he was cheered on before his first at bat. He did end up scoring as his new team the Blaze went on to beat the Nuts 3-1.
The Bakersfield Blaze will be finishing the 4 game series with the Modesto Nuts. After that, the Blaze will be playing in Stockton on September 1-3 and then finish the regular season at Rancho Cucamonga on September 4-7.