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Thomson twirls a gem as Lobos snap skid

Junior lefty Colton Thomson tossed seven shutout innings as the Lobos beat the Aztecs.
Courtesy of UNM, used with permission

Junior Colton Thomson did his part on the mound. The rest of the New Mexico baseball team did its part with the bats and in the field to wrap up a 6-1 victory over visiting San Diego State on Saturday afternoon.

The Lobos (32-15-1, 15-8 Mountain West) snapped a season-worst four-game losing streak behind Thomson's seven shutout innings. The lefty scattered six hits, did not walk a batter and struck out two.

"It was all about the fastball command today," Thomson said. "They left the inside part of the plate open. So I just sat there with the fastball, there's what it was. Just a bunch of jam shots to (shortstop Jared) Holley. Middle infield just played great, backed me up today."

It did not hurt that the defense was sharp behind Thomson. Holley set a career high with nine assists on the day, which worked well with Thomson's pitch-to-contact approach.

"Locked in, man, locked in," coach Ray Birmingham said. "That's what has to happen. There was a major, major butt-chewing (Friday) night. And Colton responded.

"He pounded (the strike zone). Left-handers have to pitch in to right-handers and away to left-handers."

Twice the Aztecs (32-15, 13-10) loaded the bases against Thomson, once in the second and again in the fourth. Both times he got out of the jam, getting Greg Allen to fly out to right field in the second and then getting Allen again in the fourth, this time to ground out to second base.

"I got myself into some trouble, but I just had to make one pitch," Thomson said. "Made that one pitch and he happened to fly out once and ground out for the next. I just had to live low and make one pitch."

UNM was able to grind out a pair of runs in the second inning to stake Thomson to an early lead. Alex Real hit a leadoff single, but the damage was done with two outs. Jack Zoellner walked, Holley reached on an infield single and Aaron Siple was then hit by a pitch to force in Real. Sam Haggerty's infield single was enough to drive in Zoellner and make it 2-0.

Chase Harris would lead off the fifth with a solo home run to make it 3-0. In the sixth, the Lobos loaded the bases on two walks and a bunt single by Haggerty. Freshman Andre Vigil then smoked a three-run triple into the left-center field gap to make it 6-0.

Haggerty finished the game 4-for-5, setting a career high for hits to lead the UNM lineup. Alex Real was 3-for-5.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Haggerty said. "I like this point in the season, after 40-some games you really start to get into your rhythm, get into your routine. I'm finding holes right now, which is really good."

SDSU picked up its only run in the ninth on a leadoff home run by Brad Haynal, who extended his Mountain West lead to 10 on the season.

The Lobos and Aztecs will meet in the rubber match of the series Sunday at 1 p.m. Sophomore Drew Bridges (2-1, 4.68 ERA) will make his first start for UNM since March 14.

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