LAS VEGAS — Matt Klaczkiewicz had a tough collegiate debut Saturday night when he was thrust into the game with no notice in relief of injured teammate Jimmy Cox and walked the batter he faced.
Sunday night, the freshman righthander redeemed himself.
Klaczkiewicz allowed two runs in three innings of relief, helping the University of Maine earn an 11-9 baseball victory over the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in the finale of their four-game series.
“[Saturday] night we put him in a tough situation for his college debut and [Sunday] he goes out there and just dominates,” UMaine coach Steve Trimper told the Black Bear sports network. “He got stronger as he went along. That’s a big-time thing.”
It was the first win of the season for the Bears (1-3), who dropped 9-5 and 4-3 decisions in Saturday’s doubleheader.
On Sunday, UMaine trailed 8-6 after seven, but scored three in the eighth and two in the ninth to pull out the victory.
With the game tied 9-9, leadoff man George Tager walked, reaching base for the sixth time in the contest. Danny Menendez’s sacrifice bunt was then misplayed by the pitcher.
Two outs later, Kevin McAvoy of Brewer greeted reliever Marc Baca by chopping a two-run single to left field for the decisive runs.
“It was a back-and-forth game. It showed some character,” Trimper said of the win.
Klaczkiewicz worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to secure the victory.
Myckie Lugbauer plated four runs with three singles and McAvoy had another RBI single while Billy Cather posted two singles for the Bears.
Drew Beuerlein homered twice with three RBIs to lead UNLV (3-1).
In Saturday’s nightcap, UNLV’s Joe DiMaggio stroked a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning to win after the Bears had scored twice in the top of the eighth to take the lead.
UMaine was one out away from a victory when Cox of Bangor hit Jesse Wight with a pitch. Three pitches later, after experiencing a “pop” in his right arm, Cox was lifted in favor of Klaczkiewicz.
With a 2-1 count, Klaczkiewicz walked Trent Fuller, loading the bases. Alejandro Balsinde came on and allowed the game-winning hit by DiMaggio.
Freshman righthander Keith Bilodeau scattered six hits over eight innings with two strikeouts and two walks in his collegiate debut for the Bears.
Billy Cather stroked a go-ahead, two-run double in the eighth inning for UMaine. Tager and Kyle Stilphen of Pittston singled twice each.
DiMaggio added two singles for the Rebels behind relief winner Michael Goodman.
In Saturday’s opener, UNLV reached the Bears’ bullpen for six runs in the seventh inning to earn the win.
Scott Berke rapped a three-run double to highlight the seventh for the Rebels, who reached Justin Latta (0-1) for three runs and Balsinde for three more.
Sophomore Matt Jebb scattered five hits and three earned run in six innings for UMaine, which got three singles from Myckie Lugbauer and two singles from Cather.
Berke also singled twice for UNLV to back relief winner Matt Hutchinson, who gave up one earned run in 4¤ innings.
On Friday, the UNLV bullpen worked four scoreless innings to preserve the victory.
The Rebels scored the eventual game-winning run in the fifth inning off UMaine starter Joe Miller. Beuerlein was hit by a pitch with two out, took third on an error by second baseman Danny Menendez and scored on a wild pitch.
Miller allowed seven hits and two earned runs in six innings.
McAvoy paced the offense with two singles and Menendez provided a two-run single.
Bryan Resnick tripled and singled with an RBI to lead UNLV behind starter and winner Jeff Urlaub.