Junior Codie Paiva dealt his second complete-game shutout of the year, and LMU’s bats exploded for seven runs on 12 hits, as the Lions (22-28, 13-12 WCC) kept their hopes alive for a berth into the WCC Championship Tournament by way of a 7-0 victory over Saint Mary’s (31-21, 14-11 WCC) on Friday night from LMU’s Page Stadium.
PAIVA HAD HIS A-PLUS STUFF: Paiva allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out five en route to going the distance on Friday night. The right-hander threw 108 pitches to record his second shutout of the year, matching his effort on March 1 at Hawaii. The native of Pearl City, Hawaii managed to string together two separate runs of retiring 10 straight batters, and he faced one over the minimum over his final five frames. Paiva improved to 6-5 on the year with the victory.
LION BATS BACK PAIVA: The Lions scored seven runs on 12 hits in support of Paiva. Four of the 12 hits went for extra-bases, as Niko Decolati and Trevin Esquerra homered, and Esquerra and Jamey Smart posted a double. Esquerra finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, falling a triple short of the cycle. Decolati, hitting out of the leadoff spot in the order, went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two driven in – connecting for a two-run homer to highlight a four-run bottom of the sixth that handed LMU a 7-0 cushion. Esquerra’s round-tripper came with two out in the third, as he and Decolati now both own six homers to lead the team.
BOX SCORE NOTES: Cooper Uhl and Niko Pacheco joined Esquerra and Decolati with multiple hits, posting two each … right-hander Kevin Milam was saddled with the loss after allowing seven runs on 10 hits and three walks with five strikeouts over 5.2 innings .. Milam fell to 6-4 with the setback … the contest took just 2:29.
LION NOTES: The three hits allowed are a season-low for LMU … the shutout was the third of the year for LMU (3/1 at Hawaii; 5/8 at CSU Bakersfield) … with two shutouts this year, Paiva is now tied for second-most in a single season in LMU history (last: Cory Abbott, 2017).
JOURNEY TO THE TOURNEY: With Gonzaga’s win on Friday night, three spots have been claimed in the upcoming WCC Championship tournament (Pepperdine, Gonzaga, San Francisco). The final spot will be decided in LMU’s series with Saint Mary’s, as the Lions need to sweep the final two games to clinch a spot.
ON DECK: LMU will continue a must-sweep three-game West Coast Conference series with Saint Mary’s on Saturday at 6 p.m.
PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS: LMU still has two home games remaining to be played at Page Stadium. Members of LMU’s Little Lions Club get into all LMU home baseball games as part of the membership, while students, faculty and staff with a valid One Card also receive free General Admission access to every home game. To purchase single-game tickets, please contact the LMU Box Office at 310-338-5466 or visit LMULions.com/tickets.
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