College World Series Gets Double Dose of El Paso Baseball Players
When Texas and Mississippi State meet in Omaha this weekend, two El Paso high school baseball stars will clash in the College Baseball World Series.
Ivan Melendez, known as the "Hispanic Titanic," has been a key component on the Texas Longhorns baseball squad this year. He graduated from the class of 2018 from Coronado High School, having earned First Team All-State third baseman honors.
Though he's played sparingly this season, utility player Brandon Pimentel represents El Paso on the Mississippi State roster. He is also a graduate from the class of 2018 from Socorro High, where he garnered First Team All-District as a junior and senior.
Both also took the JUCO path to get to the Division I level.
Melendez had a stint at Odessa College and his stock took off when he was able to bat .354 with seven doubles, three triples and four homers in a pandemic-shortened 2020 season. As a freshman, Melendez took home NJCAA All-American honors.
Pimentel was named onto the NJCAA All-American second team at the designated hitter position after his time with Howard College. He immediately joined the Bulldogs after his freshman season.
During his sophomore season, Pimentel appeared in 14 games with 13 starts for Mississippi State before the pandemic halted the season. He batted .184 with nine hits in 49 at bats, 8 RBI, and one homer. This year, he's improved his batting average to .286 with four hits, three runs, six RBI and a home run through 14 at bats (10 games played).
Melendez had a breakthrough season with the Longhorns in 2021, highlighted by his streak of seven home runs in six straight games. He totaled four hits in 18 at bats during the postseason. In addition, Melendez is ranked as the 199th overall prospect in the latest Major League Baseball Draft rankings by Baseball America.
The former District 1-6A baseball standouts will meet up on Sunday with the first pitch set for 5 p.m. MT.