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Turlock grad Mendonca WAC baseball player of the year

Fresno State's Tom Mendonca throws out a Washington runner on Friday February 20, 2009. - DARRELL WONG/THE FRESNO BEE
Fresno State's Tom Mendonca throws out a Washington runner on Friday February 20, 2009. - DARRELL WONG/THE FRESNO BEE Fresno Bee Staff Photo

FRESNO - Fresno State third baseman Tommy Mendonca is the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, the conference announced Thursday.

Mendonca, one of the few players who has had a better season this year than a year ago when Fresno State won a national title, hit a WAC-best 24 home runs with a .348 average, 74 RBIs and 48 runs. Defensively, Mendonca had 107 assists vs. eight errors and a .953 fielding percentage.

Mendonca broke Fresno State's career home-run record in April and currently has 53.Bulldogs' Mendonca named WAC Player of the Year

The Turlock native was the preseason WAC Player of the Year after earning the Most Outstanding Player award in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

Fresno State had four players selected to the WAC first team, the most of any school. Other Bulldogs also honored were senior pitcher Holden Sprague (6-3, four saves, 4.33 ERA, 62 strikeouts in 89 1/3 innings), sophomore second baseman Danny Muno (.372, 72 runs, 37 RBIs, 22 doubles) and freshman outfielder Dusty Robinson (.341, 12 homers, 12 doubles, 40 RBIs, 46 runs).

The Bulldogs play New Mexico State tonight in the first round of the WAC tournament in Honolulu.

Bulldogs first baseman Alan Ahmady, who hit .326 with eight homers, 53 RBIs and 47 runs, was not selected. Ahmady, a WAC first-team selection last season, was suspended from the team earlier this week for violating an unspecified athletic department policy and could miss the postseason. He received a similar suspension earlier this season and missed the team's first five games.

San Jose State, the WAC regular-season champion, had three first-team selections, including Pitcher of the Year Ryan Shopwhire. San Jose State coach Sam Piraro was named Coach of the Year and Hawaii's Kolten Wong was Freshman of the Year.

Fresno State did not have any second-team selections.

Each coach nominates players from his respective team for WAC honors. The coaches then cast votes but cannot vote for players from their team.

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