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Thomson throws shutout, UNM moves on in winner's bracket

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Lobos play Air Force at 7 p.m. tonight in MW tournament

By The Staff

ALBUQUERQUE — The University of New Mexico baseball team (36-21) earned a victory in the first game of the Mountain West Conference Championship Thursday, defeating the Nevada Wolf Pack (34-23), 3-0.
The Lobos received a career-best pitching performance from senior left-hander Colton Thomson (7-3), as he threw his first-ever complete game, a three-hit shutout over the Wolf Pack. He collected a career-high tying 11 strikeouts and walked one. His 122 total pitches thrown marked the most in his Lobo career.

"That's a great job, by a great young man," said head New Mexico coach Ray Birmingham. "Changing speeds, pitching for strikes and locating pitches was the key tonight. This team has been injured and there are a lot of freshman and sophomores on the field so tip your hat to Lobo baseball."
"It feels great," said Thomson. "Just to finish feels amazing. I kept on telling myself to get through the fourth, the fifth and then it was the ninth. But I give a lot of respect to Nevada. They are a great hitting team."
On the other end, the Lobos were paced offensively by leadoff hitter Luis Gonzalez. The sophomore went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Chris DeVito also had a multiple hit game, finishing 2-for-4 with the go-ahead RBI.
The Lobos led from the first inning on, starting with a run in the opening frame. Gonzalez led the game off with a walk and was batted around the third base on a sacrifice bunt and a fielder's choice. With runners on the corners, DeVito singled through the right side to allow Gonzalez to trot home.
The Lobos padded their lead with a pair of runs in the second inning. Once again, the Lobos drew a leadoff walk, this time with freshman Austin Bell up to bat. Fellow freshman Andrew Pratt was hit by a pitch and both runners were bunted over by Dalton Bowers. At the top of the order, Gonzalez earned his first hit of the game, scoring two runs on a single up the middle to put the Lobos up 3-0.
The Lobos did not cross the plate after the second, but did not need any more runs with Thomson on the mound. From the third inning through the sixth, Thomson only allowed one hit and one walk. Thomson gave up a one-out single in the seventh, but earned eight straight outs to end the game with nine zeros on the board.
The win keeps the Lobos in the winner's bracket and pits them against Air Force Friday night at 7 p.m., with the winner one victory away from the championship. The game will broadcast live on ESPN Radio 101.7 The TEAM.
NOTES: The Lobos played in front of 1,106 fans, within 100 fans of the seating capacity of the stadium…This was the first complete-game shutout by the Lobos since Tyler Stevens blanked Air Force on April 12, 2015…Thomson held Nevada to 0-for-10 with runners on…This was the 25th win in a MW Tournament game and the 17th under Birmingham, who has a .586 winning percentage in the tournament.