By Jeremy McDonald
INDEPENDENCE, Ore.– California baseball is a whole different animal. The teams, the players, the competition is on a whole different level down in the Golden State and Central-Grad Peter Mendazona adjusted accordingly over the last two years.
Playing at Feather River College in Quincy, California, about 83 miles east of Chico, the Golden Eagles preseason schedule against teams like Santa Rosa and American River from Sacramento prepare them for league and the postseason. The coaching staff prepped their players and had allowed Mendazona to make strides in his development coming out of High School.
It’s strange to think that an athlete like Mendazona, coming out of Central a year before the Panthers went on to win the 5A State Championship in Oregon, he only got a few looks. But he made the most of it, hitting .309 in 68 games with two homeruns, 66 RBI’s and 14 stolen bases in two years that had Power 5 conference programs calling him up.
“Our preseason schedule at feather river was very difficult, which made our team better in many aspects. The coaching there at Feather River was unbelievably helpful to me and allowed me to make big strides in many aspects of my game,” said Mendazona.
“My coaching staff at Feather River is truly who I have to thank for that. I simply came in to the program knowing I have some potential and knew I had to work hard. They laid the path down for me and developed me as a player and a person. The amount I learned physically and mentally from that program is incredible.”
Mendazona had eventually settled on joining the Wolfpack of the University of Nevada-Reno for his final two years of eligibility. UNR went 2-12 in this past season’s shortened Spring, five years removed from their 41-win season, Mendazona’s Feather River squad went 14-11 and 8-2 in league play during their season.
Since the pandemic hit, the Central-Grad has been healing up from an infection and is planning to get back at it this week, using the next month-and-a-half to hit the weight room and work on his game for when he reports with the Medford Rogues this Summer.
The Rogues are scheduled to kick-off their season July 9 as Mendazona enters his second-year with the summer baseball team in Southern Oregon.
“The Medford Rogues are also a great summer team that allowed me to play games every day, keeping me in baseball shape over the summer. The coaching was great, and my overall experience was wonderful,” Mendazona starts. “The fan base there in Medford is absolutely phenomenal. Playing with them allowed me to get better and get ready for fall ball. I’m hoping I can do that again this summer.”
Mendazona played in 38 games with the Medford-squad in 2019, hitting .370 with a homerun and eight RBI’s in 73 at-bats with the squad.
With the pandemic taking the turn for the better at the moment, Mendazona is excited for this opportunity to better himself, get some live hacks and get himself going in the right direction when he arrives in Reno in the Fall. Even if it’s just an Independent schedule as what the Medford Rogues are going with this Summer.
“I’m excited to hear that the Rogues will have a season. Being able to get live at bats is going to be huge for my preparation to going and competing for a spot in the fall. I believe This summer is going to be very important to my success at UNR, so I need to stay on my work and make sure I’m getting better every day,” said Mendazona. “Overall, I’m really looking forward to joining the Wolfpack and competing for a spot right away, which means I need to be prepared.