April 23, 2011
PROVO, Utah - The Lobos found themselves locked in a pitching duel with the Cougars Sunday afternoon. In the end, BYU's senior starter Matthew Neil bested UNM's senior starter Richard Olson by one run, as the Cougars beat the Lobos 1-0.
UNM's Olson, the lone senior on the Lobos' roster, had an outstanding day, surrendering just one run on three hits in eight innings of work.
BYU's Neil was worth the price of admission as well, as he threw a complete-game six-hit shutout for the Cougars.
With sophomore shortstop Alex Allbritton out of the game due to back soreness, the Lobos were forced to throw together a patchwork infield. Quay Grant moved over from third to short and DJ Peterson moved back to his natural position of third base from first, while Jake Nelson took his hand at first base with Kyle 'Beep' Stiner remaining at second.
BYU put the game's only run on the board in the fourth inning, as left fielder Ryan Bernal smoked an RBI triple to left center. The run proved to be the only one the Cougars would need, as they won the game 1-0.
The Lobos came close to tying the game up in the ninth, as they had runners on first and third with one out. UNM's shortstop Grant hit the ball to BYU's first baseman Austin Hall, who reacted quickly, firing the ball to home plate to gun down Lobos' DH John Twichell for the out. After that scare, BYU's Neil got himself out of the inning to complete his shutout.
Although they lost, the Lobos still took the three-game conference series from the Cougars, 2-1. The Lobos are now 12-28 overall (7-8, MWC).
Next up for UNM will be a midweek two-game set against the Texas Tech Red Raiders beginning at 5 p.m. MT on April 26 in Lubbock, Texas.