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SportsScope : Cal State Baseball Stars Sign With Twins and Blue Jays

June 29, 1989

Two players from the Cal State Los Angeles baseball team have signed professional contracts after being selected in the major league free-agent draft.

Outfielder Rex De La Nuez has signed with the Minnesota Twins and third baseman Brad Mengel with the Toronto Blue Jays. De La Nuez has been assigned to Minnesota's Appalachian Rookie League team in Elizabethton, Tenn., and Mengel to the Blue Jays' rookie mini-camp in Toronto.

De La Nuez, an All-California Collegiate Athletic Assn. first-team and NCAA Division II All-American second-team performer who was selected in the 43rd round of the draft, led Cal State with a .362 batting average and 45 runs batted in last season.

Mengel, drafted in the 22nd round, batted .347 and tied De La Nuez for the team lead in doubles with 18.

Mengel was a senior and De La Nuez a junior. De La Nuez became the 10th junior in the last three seasons at Cal State to sign a pro contract.

"This makes 89 players in my coaching career, including 14 at Cal State L.A., that have signed, and Rex is my first All-American," said John Herbold, who has coached the Golden Eagles for the last six years and was also a high school coach. "I don't know for sure but that must be some kind of record to have all those juniors sign contracts since I've been here."

Wolfe Barber Payne, who starred as a running back and defensive back at Rosemead High School, has been added to the South team for the 38th annual Shrine All-Star Football Game on July 29 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Payne replaces Jim Klein of Loyola at defensive back. Klein dropped out of the game after being selected for the U.S. Olympic Festival in late July in Oklahoma City.

At 6-0 and 185 pounds, Payne was one of the top offensive players in Rosemead's history with more than 4,100 yards rushing in his career. As a senior, he rushed for 1,414 yards and 22 touchdowns in 212 carries and caught 21 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns.

He was also exceptional on punt and kick returns and finished the season with 2,385 all-purpose yards. On defense, Payne was among the team leaders with 73 tackles and two interceptions as a safety.

Payne, who was selected to The Times All-San Gabriel Valley squad as a defensive back, was named to All-CIF Southern Section and all-state squads.

He is the third valley player to be selected for the game. The others are defensive lineman Terry McDaniels of Pasadena and offensive lineman Len Gorecki of Damien.

Center Jack Porter of the Mt. San Antonio College football team, who played for the Mounties the last two seasons, has been named recipient of the Ralph Craig Memorial Scholarship.

The award is named after the longtime Mt. Sac football coach and physical education instructor, who died last year.

Porter, who played two seasons, will attend Cal State Long Beach in the fall and major in engineering.

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