LOS ANGELES – The Baylor Bears knew what to expect from Loyola Marymount pitcher Codie Paiva. Getting hits and generating offense was another matter.
Paiva allowed only four hits and one walk in seven and two-thirds innings, leading Loyola Marymount to a 3-1 victory Friday over Baylor in the opening round of the NCAA’s Los Angeles Regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Baylor (34-18) will play the loser of the UCLA-Omaha game in the double-elimination tournament Saturday at 4 p.m. Central Time.
If they win, they will play the loser of Saturday’s winner’s bracket game. Should the Bears lose it will be, as Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez said, seven months off.
Third-seeded Loyola Marymount (33-23) earned the invitation by winning the Big West Conference tournament. Baylor, which is ranked 21st and finished second in the Big 12, earned an at-large berth. Three Big 12 teams, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Texas Tech, earned No. 1 seeds and hosted regionals.
“We didn’t hit well and we were not good defensively,” said Rodriguez, who is in his fourth year as coach. “You have to tip your hat to Paiva — he pounded the strike zone.”
Loyola Marymount coach Jason Gill is more familiar with Paiva, but had equal praise for the 6-foot-5 senior right-hander.
“Codie set the tone,” Gill said. “He held one of the best offenses in the country to one run.”
Both teams scored one run in the second inning. Loyola Marymount took the lead when Tommy Delgado, who had three hits and a walk in five plate appearances, scored on Dylan Hirsch’s sacrifice fly to right.
Baylor tied the score in the bottom of the inning. DH Andy Thomas scored on Davion Downey’s infield groundout.
Baylor starting pitcher Jimmy Winston (5-3) kept Loyola Marymount off the board until the sixth inning. Brandon Shearer’s one-out walk was followed by a Trevin Esquerra’s double. Shearer scored and Esquerra advanced to third on Downey’s error in right field. Esquerra scored on Tommy Delgado’s single to center.
“He pitched backward and started the game by throwing change-ups,” Thomas said. “As soon as we got used to that, he threw fastballs. We hit some balls hard, but they were able to run down everything.”
Pavia has a delivery where he is able get in a slight crouch on the mound which allows him to hide the ball for most of his windup.
“I started that in my sophomore year here,” said Pavia, who improved his record to 8-5.
Another thing he has learned is not to dwell on anything but the next pitch.
“When I started in the fall of my freshman year, I would have highs and lows based on my last pitch,” Pavia said. “I’ve developed a short-term memory. It wasn’t easy, but I did that in scrimmages and also in drills.”
Pavia threw 110 pitches, and 75 of them were for strikes. He was removed by Gill with two outs in the eighth inning. “He never wants to come out of a game,” Gill said.
“In my head, I could have gone longer,” Paiva said. “Physically, it was the right decision to remove me.”
Paul Dickens will start Saturday’s game for Baylor.
“I thought Jimmy (Winston) would be a better matchup because he can hold runners,” Rodriguez said.