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Longhorn’s Melendez Named Player of the Year

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Texas Longhorns first basemen Ivan Melendez (17) points up to the stands. | Photo by UT Athletics

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Following a stellar season for the University of Texas Longhorns, collegiate baseball has named Ivan Melendez — dubbed the “Hispanic Titanic” — National Player of the Year. Melendez was named Big 12 Player of the Year and a first-team All-American.

Melendez is the fourth Longhorn to be named National Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year. Brooks Kieschnick (1993), Scott Bryant (1989), and Greg Swindell (1986) were the others.

Melendez, a first baseman, has had one of the best seasons in program history, and he’s already starting to win awards for his efforts.

In 2022, the slugger is hitting .406 with the nation’s best 29 home runs and had 87 RBI. He has Texas ranked ninth in the country going into the NCAA Tournament.

“What a season so far,” tweeted Texas Baseball.

“I just think the whole year, in general, has been a grind,” Melendez told El Paso ESPN. “From fall ball, you know, playing a full season there, training in the off-season, playing in our season right now on top of school and academics … it’s a huge load, obviously, but it’s been fun. It’s been great instruction, great team bonding, and you know, [I] can’t complain.”

Longhorns Manager David Pierce said Melendez is worthy of the accolades he is collecting.

“You talk about guys that earned it and deserve it,” Pierce told ABC News, “he’s one of them.”

Melendez, a native of El Paso and Coronado High School graduate, was also named a first-team All-American, joining outfielder Murphy Stehly and left-handed pitcher Pete Hansen, both named second-team All-Americans.

Stehly has a .377 batting average, 21 doubles, 17 home runs, and 54 RBI. His 92 hits rank seventh in the country this season, while his 166 total bases rank 13th.

Hansen is 10-1 with a 3.01 ERA, and 107 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings pitched on the season. He has only walked 16 batters while holding opponents to a .208 batting average.

The Longhorns will play Air Force in the NCAA Austin Regional on June 3 at 1 p.m. at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

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