Sunbirds baseball picked to finish sixth in PacWest

Fresno Pacific baseball coach Oscar Hirschkorn
THE FRESNO BEE

Fresno Pacific baseball coach Oscar Hirschkorn wasn’t surprised when he learned that his team was forecast to finish sixth out of 10 teams in its inaugural Pacific West Conference baseball season in a vote of league coaches.

“League doesn’t know much about us,” he said. “I didn’t think we would be put very high. That’s OK. End of the season is what matters.”

The Sunbirds, who opened the season with a three-game sweep of San Francisco State, host Cal State Stanislaus in the 2 p.m. home opener Friday.

Defending conference champion Cal Baptist is picked to repeat, picking up six of the 10 first-place votes. The Lancers are a former Golden State Athletic Conference rival of the Sunbirds, with both teams now in NCAA Division II.

Grand Canyon, under second-year coach and former major leaguer Andy Stankiewicz, earned three firsts and was picked second.

Also new to the league are Point Loma and Holy Names.