EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso’s Ivan Melendez and Carlos Contreras grew up playing the sport of baseball together and now find themselves on a list of 31 of the best players in college baseball as semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award.
The announcement came shortly after Melendez and Contreras were earned the respective conference player of the year awards.
Melendez was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and Contreras was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
Melendez leads the Big 12 in batting average (.421), home runs (28), runs batted in (85), on-base percentage (.531), slugging percentage (.941) and OPS (1.472). He also leads the nation in home runs (28), and ranks second in batting average and runs batted in while setting a Big 12 record with five Player of the Week selections in 2022.
Melendez is the fourth Longhorn to win the Big 12 Player of the Year Award and the first Longhorn to win it since Kody Clemens in 2018.
Melendez also landed a spot on the First Team All-Big 12.
As for Contreras, he as well found a spot on the First Team All-WAC and took home the WAC Player of the Year Award.
The junior outfielder led the WAC with a .447 batting average in league play and helped the Bearkats win the Southwest Division. He also leads the WAC in on base percentage (.520) and slugging percentage (.854), he was also the league leader in hits (55), RBIs (61) and triples (4).
Contreras and Melendez were not the only El Pasoans’ to earn season honors.
Socorro High School graduate Brandon Pimentel was named to the All-WAC Second Team.
Melendez and Contreras will now continue the Golden Spikes Award process as they head into their respective conference tournaments starting on Wednesday.
The winner of the 44th Golden Spikes Award will be named on Friday, June 24, on ESPN.