EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Coronado graduate Ivan Melendez is on the doorstep of Texas Longhorns history.
The “Hispanic Titanic” drilled a three-run home run in the fourth inning of No. 22 Texas’ 12-4 win over Kansas on Thursday night in game one of the final Big 12 series of the season for the ‘Horns. The big fly was Melendez’s 27th of the season, one away from tying the Texas single-season record of 28, set by Kyle Russell in 2007.
Melendez’s 27 bombs leads all of college baseball, as does his unreal batting average of .426, which went up again after the El Pasoan’s 3-5 outing vs. the Jayhawks on Tuesday. The 83 RBI Melendez has on his resume are good for second in the nation behind Sam Houston’s Carlos Contreras, a fellow El Pasoan.
The former T-Bird came into Thursday with an 18-game hitting streak and wasted no time extending it to 19 games with a single to right field on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first inning. His next hit was the three-run home run in the fourth inning, followed by another single to left in the seventh inning.
With the numbers Melendez has put up as a hitter, coupled with his play at first base (no errors in 52 games), the Hispanic Titanic is likely a shoe-in for Big 12 Player of the Year and will be one of the favorites for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the best player in all of college baseball.
He and the Longhorns will look to win their final series of the regular season over Kansas on Friday in Austin. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. MT.