Texas' Melendez wins Howser Trophy as top college player

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FILE - Texas first baseman Ivan Melendez walks to the batters box against Stephen F. Austin during an NCAA baseball game on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in Austin, Texas. The 16 NCAA regional hosts will be announced on Sunday, May 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman, File)

OMAHA, Neb. – National home run leader Ivan Melendez of Texas won the Dick Howser Trophy on Friday as the outstanding player in college baseball.

Melendez's 32 home runs are most in Division I since 2003. He leads the nation with 94 RBIs and an .886 slugging percentage.

The junior from El Paso, Texas, is the fourth Longhorn to win the Howser Trophy. Other Texas players to win it were Brooks Kieschnick (1992-93), Scott Bryant (1989) and Taylor Jungmann (2011).

Melendez ranked first in the Big 12 Conference in batting average (.432), homers (14) and RBIs (32).

Melendez also has been named national player of the year by Collegiate Baseball newspaper and Perfect Game and is a consensus All-American.

Other Howser Trophy finalists were Oregon State pitcher Connor Hjerpe, Tennessee third baseman Trey Lipscomb, Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada and Clemson third baseman Max Wagner.

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