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Tanner Mendonca

2012 Alaska Goldpanners
107th Midnight Sun Baseball Classic

Position Starting Pitcher
School Sacramento State Univ.
2012 Class Sophomore
H/W  B/T 6-4 / 205 ; R / R
Prep Mt. Whitney (CA) HS
Home Visalia, Calif.

Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week in April 2012

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Posted a 5.73 ERA with a 2-6 record in 14 appearances and 12 starts, the second most on the team...earned his first win of the season after starting the Hornets' season opener at UC Davis on Feb. 20 when he gave up just three runs on nine hits in six innings in a 4-3 victory...allowed 42 earned runs on 75 hits in 66 innings with 33 strikeouts and 31 walks...best outing of the season came in a 3-0 loss to San Jose State where he did not allow a run on just five hits in eight innings with three strikeouts and two walks...did not allow a single hit or run in six innings of relief coming in two appearances against Cal State Northridge and Saint Mary's...earned his lone save of the season at Cal State Northridge on March 18.


Played four seasons of baseball for head coaches Dave Holt and Ryan Miller at Mt. Whitney HS of the West Yosemite League...named first-team All-WYL as a pitcher in 2010...once struck out 14 batters in five consecutive innings...posted a .372 batting average at the plate while recording a 2.37 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched...also played football in high school...named WYL offensive player of the year on the gridiron in 2009...set high school records with 5,850 career passing yards and 55 career touchdown passes.

Born on June 18, 1992 in Visalia, Calif. to Chris and Lori Mendonca...father played quarterback at Utah and once threw for 406 yards against Utah State in 1987, good for 13th on the school's single game passing list...major is undeclared.



Sacramento State sophomore pitcher Tanner Mendonca improved his overall performance this season with a lowered earned run average of 3.80 from last season’s 5.73 ERA. He credits his improvement to his offseason work as well as guidance from teammates and coaches. 

Mendonca was named Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week in April for his second shutout against CSU Bakersfield following his shutout against CSU Northridge in February. 

He said the team and coaching staff contributed to his improvement by learning from their example on and off the field.

 “Learning the game and being around these players and coaches helps me understand the game more,” Mendonca said. “I try to work hard each day to get better and that’s what really helped me out this year.” 

He said pitchers such as junior Brandon Creel, sophomore Dallas Chadwick and senior R.J. Davis gave him pointers to better his game. 

“Chadwick helped me out with a curveball, Creel and R.J. have been helping me out with a changeup” Mendonca said. “We try to help each other out and tell each other our secrets to get better.”

 Hornets’ assistant coach Thad Johnson said part of Mendonca’s improvement is from his consistent pitching velocity and added variety to his pitches. 

 “Last year he was predominantly just a two-pitch guy: he would throw a fastball, obviously, and a cutter,” Johnson said. “This year he has added a breaking ball, a changeup and is becoming more of a pitcher who can compete with more than one pitch.”  

 Johnson said Mendonca’s failures and successes from the previous season validated his place on the team and developed a good pitcher’s mentality.

 “When he didn’t have that much success I think it toughened him up a little and motivated him to be better than he was a year ago,” Johnson said.

  Head coach Reggie Christiansen said Mendonca’s mentality and knowledge attributed to his progression this season.

 “He has matured physically and mentally,” Christiansen said. “I think he has also really understood more of the game itself and what he needs to do make himself successful.”

 Christiansen said the transition Mendonca made from freshman to sophomore is another notable element contributing to his improvement.

 “The process of a player in any stage once they go from freshman to sophomore is to really start to feel comfortable in the college and baseball environment,” Christiansen said.

 Looking forward, Johnson said Mendonca’s improvement and experience will be a key factor in leading the team in the upcoming seasons.

 “When Tanner goes out there to pitch and he just exudes confidence and everyone can take that to be confident, be a warrior and extremely aggressive,” he said.

Additional Comments about Tanner Mendonca

Teammate David del Grande

“His work ethic is incredible, he works just as hard as anyone on the team and he’s a perfectionist. He makes sure every day he accomplishes what he sets out to do.”

Teammate Brandon Creel

“A lot of pitchers look at him as one of the best guys on the team and he’s not one that needs to speak up: he shows that by putting in the work gets the job done in the game.”

Joe de Ocampo can be reached at sports@statehornet.com.


era  w-l  app-gs  cg  sho  sv  ip  er  bb  so  2b  hr  ab  b/avg  wp  hbp  bk 
4.74  6-8  17-15  2/0  89.1  93  51  47  40  55  13  339  .274  11