Texas wanted to show why they could be the best offensive team in the country, and they surely made the argument on Wednesday.
The Ivan Melendez-led Longhorns blasted their way to a second win over West Virginia on Saturday, slamming five home runs en route to an 11-0 victory in seven innings. Melendez, already one of the top hitters in the nation, further made his case as he went 3-for-4 with two homers, a double and four RBIs.
His big performance to end the doubleheader put him in the Division I lead for home runs (25) and slugging percentage (.944).
Texas’s offensive bonanza started right at the top of the first inning. After Douglas Hodo III led off with a strikeout, Aaron Todd was the first man on base with a double. Two pitches later, Melendez hit his first homer of the game 440 feet to straightaway center field.
The Longhorns added another run via a passed ball on a strikeout to get ahead by three in the second inning, then hit three more homers in the fourth and fifth frames to blow the game open.
Melendez added the final blow in the seventh with his second homer of the game, bringing Aaron Todd home with him to jump ahead by 11. WVU was unable to cut the deficit to single digits in the bottom of the frame, making way for the game’s finale due to the run rule.
Texas starter Lucas Gordon (5-1) tossed a seven-inning complete-game shutout, allowing two hits to earn his fifth win of the season. Ben Hampton (6-4) started for West Virginia and took the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings of work.
Melendez and Todd each had three hits to lead the game, with Todd adding a homer in the fifth. Trey Faltine also hit a home run in the fifth inning, while Hodo III knocked one in the fourth.
Mitchell Daly also had a multi-hit game, adding a pair of hits with a walk.
The Longhorns combined to record 22 hits and seven home runs across the 16 innings of the doubleheader, and the two victories mark their first in the Big 12 since getting swept at home by Oklahoma State.
“Anybody that asked me why Texas was struggling so bad coming in here before this series started,” said WVU skipper Randy Mazey, “got any more questions?”
WVU’s only hits came from Austin Davis and Alex Khan, who pinch hit for the Mountaineers in the bottom of the seventh.
The Mountaineers look to bounce back to salvage the series finale on Sunday, and Mazey hopes his players react well to the adversity.
“We’ve just got to challenge their pride, their competitiveness,” Mazey said. “Their backs are against the wall again, let’s see how they come out. It’s just a pride thing at this point.”
First pitch is set for 1 p.m. ET, and it will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.