Hawaii's Paiva Ready for NCAA Baseball Regional
Kamehameha-graduate Codie Paiva is a member of the LMU pitching staff and helped his team to this year's Conference Tournament win.
The 64-team NCAA Tournament bracket was revealed on ESPNU's hour-long selection show on Monday. And for the first time since 2000, the Loyola Marymount Lions will play in the NCAA Tournament.
Lions, winners of the 2019 West Coast Conference Tournament, open up play in the Los Angeles Regional. Kamehameha-graduate Codie Paiva is a member of the LMU pitching staff and helped his team to this year's Conference Tournament win.
In Thursday's WCC Conference Tournament opener, Paiva surrendered just one run while striking out 11 batters in LMU's 4-1 victory over BYU. Codie became just the third player in West Coast Conference baseball tournament history to strike out ten or more hitters. For his effort, Paiva was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
"It was great, they're a really good hitting team. They're a really good team overall. We had a plan against them and we just executed it well", said Paiva on beating the Cougars.
Next, the Lions (32-23) will open postseason play against the No. 2 seed in the Los Angeles Regional, Baylor (34-17) on Friday, at 10:00 a.m. HST. LMU's return to the postseason marks head coach Jason Gill's 10th trip as a player or coach and first at the helm of the Lions.
"It's great. It all started with our coaches, players in the past, just setting a precedent here in how we play baseball."
LMU was voted to finish 7th in the WCC this season. The Lions are 11-19 all-time in postseason play and seek a return trip to Omaha since 1986 when they played in the College World Series.
Paiva joins a handful of Hawaii-born players who have made it into this year's NCAA tournament. When asked about getting the opportunity to represent his home state, Paiva responded, "being from Hawaii I know it's a lot harder to come out here and do all this stuff, but (I'm) always playing for back home. I always got a lot of support, even when I played at home, when we visited. And after all these games (I'm) getting a bunch of texts and support. It just shows the close-knit environment in Hawaii that everyone's always rooting for everyone else".