LAS VEGAS — The University of Maine pitching staff struggled mightily over the weekend as the University of Nevada-Las Vegas earned a season-opening four-game sweep of the Black Bears.
The Rebels took Friday night’s opener 12-4, then swept Saturday’s doubleheader by scores of 15-14 and 16-11. UNLV capped the series with Sunday’s 8-2 victory.
UNLV touched up the UMaine staff for 41 runs, 40 of which were earned, on 48 hits. The Bears, who have an 11.14 earned run average, also issued 33 walks.
The Black Bears took the Rebels to the final at-bat in Saturday’s opener, then surrendered a late lead in Saturday’s nightcap.
On Sunday, Tyler Iodence pitched eight innings of three-hit ball to help UNLV complete the sweep. Brandon Bayardi’s first-inning grand slam off UMaine starter Steve Perakslis wiped out a 1-0 deficit and gave the hosts all the runs they would ultimately need.
Travis Feiner doubled and singled with an RBI and Trent Cook singled twice for UNLV.
Joey Martin hit a triple and drove in a run to lead UMaine.
In Saturday’s opener, the Bears scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game, but the Rebels scored the game-winner in the bottom of the inning.
UMaine led 9-8 after scoring twice in the top of the eighth, but UNLV tallied six runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Trent Cook paced UNLV with a home run, two doubles, two singles and five RBIs. Rance Roundy plated three runs with two home runs, a double and a single, while Richie Jimenez knocked in three runs with a triple and three singles.
Redshirt freshman Fran Whitten, making his collegiate pitching debut, suffered the loss. He gave up three hits and a run in 1 1/3 innings.
Martin sparked UMaine with a three-run homer and an RBI single. Freshman Alex Calbick sroked a double and two singles, while Taylor Lewis posted two singles and two RBIs.
Freshmen Eric White of Brewer and Mike Connolly each added a single and two RBIs.
In Saturday’s second game, UMaine piled up six runs in the top of the eighth to grab an 11-6 advantage, only to watch the Rebels retaliate with 10 runs in the bottom of the frame to win it.
A leadoff walk by reliever Kyle Benoit and Roundy’s two-run homer got UNLV going in the inning. Benoit was lifted after another walk, then eventual loser Joe Miller came on to allow a single, a hit batter and two bases-loaded walks.
Kevin Scanlan got the call and also walked in two runs before recording two outs, including a strikeout on which a run scored by virtue of a wild pitch. Two more singles plated three more runs.
Cash Thomas hit three singles with two RBIs and Feiner knocked in four runs.
Calbick doubled and singled twice for UMaine, while Patzalek doubled and singled with three RBIs. Lewis also had two singles and two RBIs.
On Friday, Danny Higa doubled twice, singled and knocked in four runs to lead UNLV. Roundy homered, doubled and singled with three RBIs. Starter Tanner Peters went five innings to earn the win.
Starter Jeff Gibbs lasted only three innings for UMaine, which got two singles and an RBI from Lewis and two hits each out of Pat Thibodeau of Caribou and Colin Gay.