Melendez, Texas punch ticket to College World Series

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AUSTIN, TEXAS (KTSM) – El Paso native and Coronado graduate Ivan Melendez is headed to the College World Series.

The redshirt sophomore designated hitter and 2nd-seeded Texas defeated South Florida 12-4 in game two of the Austin Super Regional on Sunday night to punch their ticket to Omaha, Neb.

For the Longhorns, it’s their second trip to the College World Series since 2018, and the 37th trip the CWS in program history, which is an NCAA record.

Melendez was 1-4 with a base hit and three strikeouts in Texas’ CWS-clinching victory. He follows in the footsteps of Socorro graduate and former MLB player Omar Quintanilla as El Pasoans who have made the College World Series with Texas. Quintanilla won the 2002 national championship with the Longhorns.

“Getting to Omaha is an unbelievable experience, based off what I’ve heard from some of the older guys on the team,” Melendez told KTSM before this week’s Super Regional. “Coming to a school like Texas, they carry that legacy and winning tradition. By joining the team, you have to meet these high standards. That’s how I feel and as a team, how we all feel for the most part.”

On the season, Melendez leads Texas in batting average and home runs, and if the Longhorns are to have an extended stay in Omaha, they’ll need him to continue hitting at the torrid rate he was in the regular season. Melendez was a 1st team All-Big 12 selection in 2021.

A 2018 graduate of Coronado, Melendez played two seasons at Odessa College before coming to Austin to play for the Longhorns. Now, he’s living the dream of every collegiate ball player in the nation, and will take the field at the College World Series in Omaha next week.

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