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Mendonca makes his first pro start
Turlock native Tom Mendonca earned his first professional career home run for the Spokane Indians against the Yakima Bears on Friday. - photo by Photo courtesy of James Snook/Spokane Indians Baseball

Tom Mendonca’s professional debut wasn’t exactly noteworthy but he quickly made up for it the following day.

The former Turlock High baseball star made his first start on July 1 for the Spokane Indians — the Short-Season A classification team in the Northwest League of the Texas Rangers organization — against the Yakima Bears at Yakima County Stadium, and got his first hit.

Not only that, his leadoff single in the ninth inning led to a three-run rally that snapped a tie to lift the Indians to a 7-4 victory.

That performance topped his pro debut the day before, when he came in as a pinch-hitter and struck out. In his first start, however, he went 1-for-4 with a run and two strike outs. He batted sixth and played third base, the position he played at Fresno State before being drafted in the second round of the MLB in June.

Since then, Mendonca earned his first career home run against the Bears on Friday, as he went 2-for-4 in a 9-4 loss — in addition to moving up the batting lineup to third.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.