Sunbirds baseball picked to finish sixth in PacWest

Fresno Pacific baseball coach Oscar Hirschkorn

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.

Sunbirds men’s hoops put streak on line in showdown

Fresno Pacific’s Matt Samuels drives against Hawaii Hilo’s C.J. Brown in their game at Fresno Pacific on Jan. 14, 2013. (CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE)

Can the Fresno Pacific men’s basketball team get closer to Dixie State?

We’ll see.

The Sunbirds put their seven-game winning streak on the line against the Pacific West Conference leader on Tuesday in St. George, Utah. The Sunbirds trail the Red Storm by two games.

Dixie State has won seven straight, edging Grand Canyon 65-64 on Saturday while the Sunbirds rolled to a 108-62 victory over Holy Names.

Sunbirds coach Chris Wright has a simple game plan: “We have to do what we do, which is make the game fast-paced. We have to be very solid defensively and not get beat up on the glass.”

The Sunbirds defeated Dixie State 82-80 earlier this season. After Tuesday’s game, the Sunbirds return home to face Azusa Pacific on Saturday.