AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns (25-8, 10-2) are on quite a roll.
The Horns have won eight straight, 25 of their last 30 after starting the season 0-3, and lead the Big 12 with a 10-2 record. Texas moved up another spot in the D1baseball.com rankings to No. 3 on Monday.
Texas is coming off a weekend sweep over Kansas State, outscoring the Wildcats 37-9 in the process. Designated hitter Ivan Melendez is on quite a tear of his own, crushing hit two home runs on Sunday and has hit home runs in each of the last six games. In his last eight games, Melendez is 18 for 31 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs and has raised his average from .260 to a team-high .375 in that time.
Melendez is now two games away from tying the NCAA record of eight consecutive games with a home run held by Ryan Jackson of Duke in 1994 and Andy Bruce of Georgia Tech in 1991.
“I don’t really think about it, I just go out there and try to hit the ball and help the team win,” Melendez said. “I see it all over my social media, I try to just clear it and I don’t want it to be a distraction so I just go out there and play.”
With the NCAA’s decision to announce regional and super regional sites before the end of the regular season so that schools will have time to prepare their facilities to comply with COVID-19 policies, it increases the urgency for teams to build their resumes.
Under normal circumstances, the top eight seeds would host not only regionals but also super regionals as long as they advance. Under the format this year those sites will be announced on May 10, and super regionals will remain the same regardless of if the host team advances or not.
Longhorns head coach David Pierce admitted that in past years, he has discussed how the computer rankings and other factors work concerning the selection of the tournament field and seeding, but not with this team.
“This year are so locked in to being together and playing the game,” Pierce said. “I’m just trying to avoid any distractions that may affect their preparation and may affect their outcome because they are concerned about other things they can’t control.”
Texas will play its next six games out-of-conference, beginning with two home games against Nevada at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a three-game series against Abilene Christian beginning Friday. The Longhorns’ next three Big 12 Conference series will go a long way in determining not only their hopes of a regular-season conference title but also their NCAA Tournament resume.
Texas will play at No. 13 Oklahoma State the weekend of April 23, then a home series against No. 8 Texas Tech and cap off a big stretch with a trip to Fort Worth to take on No. 12 TCU.