Derek Mendoza had a great baseball career at Grand Canyon, culminating with an appearance in the Division II Baseball Championship in his senior season.
As good as he was on the field, Mendoza got it done in the classroom as well. He was recently named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-American Division II Baseball First Team, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
In his senior year, Mendoza had a 3.79 GPA.
The Lopes won 40 games this season – the most wins they’ve had since 1990 – and couldn’t have done it without Mendoza, the PacWest Conference Player of the Year.
During the postseason, Mendoza went 11-for-25 (.440) with five runs scored, two doubles and three RBI. Those numbers earned him NCAA Division II West Region All-Tournament Team honors.
Mendoza – an Interdisciplinary Studies major – led the team in batting average (.366), runs scored (42), hits (70), RBI (40) and on-base percentage (.436).
As solid a hitter as he was, Mendoza was just as adept at playing defense. He had a .927 fielding percentage, with 25 putouts and 90 assists in 124 total chances.
During a three-week stretch in March, Mendoza had 15 straight errorless games. For his stellar defensive efforts, Mendoza was voted the best defensive third baseman in the region, gathering Rawlings/ABCA West Region Gold Glove honors.
Mendoza was also a Daktronics First Team West All-Region selection.