Drew Mendoza spent a fair share of this season at the doctor’s office.
A broken jaw just as he started school in Tallahassee. Then a broken thumb less than two weeks before the start of the season. Lake Minneola head coach Esteban Bejarano was their to encourage his former player.
“I think at that point I told him, look man, you’re writing a fantastic script here,” Bejarano said. “It’s going to be a story about redemption and coming back from these obstacles.”
Mendoza would have been a first round draft pick were he not dead set on playing for the Seminoles. He missed the first 26 games of Florida State’s season but came back and seemingly never missed a beat earning Freshman All-American honors.
“When I see a kid like him have so much character and determination and is so dedicated to his craft, I would have been surprised had he come back and not been productive for them,” Bejarano said.
Productive in Omaha too. In an elimination game against Cal State Fullerton on Monday Mendoza hit a solo home run, walked twice and scored two runs.
“I thought I was going to end up with a double or a triple,” the first baseman said. “That’s why I was running so hard out of the box. I thought he caught it actually, but yeah I was glad to get enough of it, and it was a really good feeling for sure.”
Feelings the Seminoles hope will translate into a College World Series title.