Nick Melino got hot at the plate in the beginning of April. He has yet to stop hitting.
The Nevada Wolf Pack outfielder has been named to the California College League All-League Team this summer, according to the Wolf Pack media services department. The Santa Barbara (California) Foresters player is also under consideration for CCL Player of the Year honors this summer.
Melino was third in the CCL this summer with a .365 batting average, third with 57 hits and tied for fifth with five home runs. He also had nine doubles, three triples, stole 10 bases and drove in 28 runs. The switch-hitter also had a 10-game hitting streak, 17 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI games.
The Foresters won the CCL?title with a 29-7 record in league play and 40-9 overall mark. The team has qualified for the National Baseball Congress tournament in Wichita, Kansas and will open play in the 32-team field on Wednesday.
The gaudy hitting statistics by Melino shouldn’t surprise Wolf Pack fans.
The 6-foot, 205-pounder, who will be a junior for the Pack in 2011, is one of the best hitters in school history. His .369 career average (117-for-317) currently ranks fifth all-time in Pack history (since the team moved to Division I in 1970) ahead of Jim Ferguson’s .366 and just behind Mike Gillies’ .376.
Melino, from Green Valley High in Henderson, finished the 2010 season with a team-leading .388 average and .503 on base percentage. He also had 15 doubles, seven homers, 35 RBI, was hit by a pitch 19 times, fashioned a team-best 16-game hitting streak and did not hit into a double play. The left fielder also did not make an error all season over 47 total chances. He has made just one error over the first two seasons (92 chances) of his Wolf Pack career.
Melino hit .419 in Western Athletic Conference games with nine doubles, four homers and 22 RBI. His .533 on base percentage in WAC play led the Pack.
The 20-year-old (he won’t turn 21 until Oct. 2) finished the season the last two months as one of the hottest hitters in the country.
Melino, who hit .421 as a sophomore, .457 as a junior and .463 as a senior at Green Valley, spent the first six weeks of the season this year in a slump. He was hitting just .167 (5-for-30) with one RBI over the Pack’s first 24 games on April 2.
His season, though, turned around in the second game of a double header against Seattle on April 2 at Peccole Park. Melino had twice as many RBI (two) and nearly as many hits (three) by the sixth inning against Seattle as he had over the first 24 games.
From that game on April 2 through the end of the year, Melino hit .442 (54-for-122) with 37 runs scored, 34 RBI. The Pack went 13-11 while Melino was in his slump over the first 24 games and with Melino hot, the team went 23-11-1 over its final 35 games.