Texas Baseball: Ivan Melendez, Daly explode in decisive win over KU

In the final series opener of the regular season for head coach David Pierce and No. 22 ranked Texas baseball, the Kansas Jayhawks didn’t stand much of a chance against a red-hot offense on May 19. Behind the efforts of star Ivan Melendez and Mitchell Daly, Texas was able to down Kansas in the opener on May 19 to start off on the right foot for this three-game weekend series.

Melendez and Daly stayed hot for the Longhorns, as they provided a combined two home runs, eight runs batted in, six hits, and three runs scored. They were the spark plugs for a Longhorns offense that managed a dozen runs on a whopping 17 hits to top the Jayhawks by the final score of 12-4 at home at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on the night of May 19.

It’s hard to find a hotter hitter in the entire country at the moment than Melendez. He continued his torrid pace this season by registering his nation-leading 27th home run of the season. This was also the second straight game for Melendez with a home run, bringing him up to an impressive five in the last six games.

Melendez also has seven runs batted in over the last two games.

Moreover, Daly had potentially his best game of the season offensively so far. He came up with a season-high three hits, one run, and a career-high five runs batted. The highlight of the night for Daly came when he popped his first-career grand slam in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Eight combined RBIs from Ivan Melendez and Mitchell Daly blast Texas baseball past Kansas

That was part of a seven-run fourth inning for the Longhorns that saw them both score the game-winning run and really put some separation between them and the Jayhawks.

Texas also got a stellar effort from the bullpen in this game. While ace Pete Hansen was rocky at times, giving up four earned runs in six innings on the mound, the bullpen was able to put the Jayhawks away to round this one out.

Yet, the bullpen cleaning things up for Hansen to round out this game gave the redshirt sophomore his ninth win of the season. Hansen’s record on the season now sits at a solid 9-1.

Moreover, Pierce and the Longhorns combined to use four different pitchers over the course of three innings to shut the Jayhawks out to end the game. Texas’ four pitchers that came out of the bullpen in this game combined to shutout the Jayhawks while allowing just one hit, three walks, along with an impressive six strikeouts.

If Texas gets this type of performance from the bullpen in the Big 12 Tournament and throughout the postseason, this team will be in a great spot to make some noise after a rocky regular season.

Texas has looked dominant in the last couple of weeks. Since the Longhorns were swept at home by the Oklahoma State Cowboys a couple of weekends ago, they’ve won six out of seven games, including a big weekend series win on the road over the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Texas has also won three games in a row following this convincing 12-4 win over the Jayhawks on May 19.

This win over Kansas moves Texas to a record of 37-17 (12-10 Big 12) on the season. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks are now sporting a record of 20-33 (4-18 Big 12) after this series-opening loss to the Longhorns.

Texas is set to take on Kansas in the second of three games in this weekend series at the Disch on May 20. The first pitch time between Texas and Kansas at the Disch on May 20 is set for 6:30 p.m. CT, with Lucas Gordon set to take the mound as the Horns’ starting pitcher.