OMAHA, NE (KTSM) — Ivan Melendez strikes again.
Playing in their third straight elimination game in the College World Series on Friday night, Texas and Mississippi State went into the ninth inning tied, 5-5. With runners on first and second and one out, Melendez, better known by UT’s fanbase as the “Hispanic Titanic,” came up to the plate looking to play the hero once again for the Longhorns. On a 3-2 pitch, Melendez launched a belt-high fastball into the seventh row in left-center at TD Ameritrade Park. The three-run home run would prove to be the game-winner in the Longhorns’ 8-5 win over the Bulldogs.
Melendez also provided the game-winning hit in Texas’ 6-2 win over Virginia on Thursday night.
“I’m just seeing the ball well right now,” said Melendez in a postgame interview on ESPN. “It’s just baseball. Hitting is a game of adjustments. That’s all it is.”
The former Coronado High School standout finished Friday’s game 2-for-5 with the emphatic home run and four runs batted in. He is Texas’ leading hitter this season, batting .320 with 13 home runs and 51 runs batted in.
The win keeps Texas in the hunt for their seventh national championship in program history. Texas and Mississippi State will meet again on Saturday in Omaha with the winner advancing to the College World Series Final, and the loser going home. First pitch is at 5 p.m. MT and the game will air on ESPN2.