Omaha, NE (KTSM) — The Texas Longhorns are still alive in the College World Series and El Paso’s Ivan Melendez is a big reason why.
Facing elimination against Virginia on Thursday night — into Friday morning thanks to a nearly four hour rain delay prior to first pitch — Melendez came to the plate in a tie ballgame (2-2) in the eighth inning. With a runner is scoring position, the former Coronado High School standout attacked the first pitch of his at-bat and delivered an RBI single back up the middle. It would prove to be the game-winning hit in the Longhorns 6-2 win over the Cavaliers.
Melendez finished the game 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. He is the second-leading hitter on the team this season, batting .318 with 12 home runs and 47 runs batted in.
Texas will turn around in less than 24 hours for a rematch against Mississippi State in Friday’s semifinal. The Longhorns lost their College World Series opener to the Bulldogs, 2-1, earlier this week, but have since won back-to-back elimination games. Texas will need two wins over Mississippi State to advance to the College World Series Final. First pitch is at 5 p.m. MT and the game will air on ESPN.