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Thursday, January 26, 2006 - FPU  Season Opener

Sunbirds start new era Friday

Fresno - The Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds are about to launch their inaugural season and head coach Oscar Hirschkorn can hardly wait.

The FPU baseball program, years in the making, will kick off their inaugural season tomorrow night against Patten University of Oakland at Clovis East High School.

"We are ready," said Hirschkorn. "I think we've assembled a competitive team that will represent Fresno Pacific well. I'm excited. I want to get started."

Hirschkorn has built his team around local talent. Twenty-seven of the 35 players on the roster are from the Central Valley.

Local connections spill over to the coaching staff. Hirschkorn is a native of Kerman, and will be assisted by Shawn Gilbert, who competed at Fresno State and former Kerman High School coach Tom Saunders.

"Baseball at Fresno Pacific makes sense," said FPU Athletics director Dennis Janzen. "This is great for FPU and the Central Valley. It will be a good brand of baseball, and I hope Valley residents will support this team."

Nelson Caraballo, a senior transfer from Pepperdine University, will start on the mound for the Sunbirds.

The festivities begin at Clovis East High School at 7:00 p.m. with introductions and the ceremonial first pitch. There will be free hot chocolate and apple cider.

The teams continue play on Saturday with a double header. The first game begins at 11:00 a.m.

Opening Night
When : Friday, January 27
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Clovis East High School - located just north of the intersection of Ashlan & DeWolf
Admission: $5 for adults, $3.00 for non-FPU students (with ID) and children under 12 are free.

There will be free hot chocolate and hot apple cider for all who attend!

Projected Lineup

Bat
Pos
No
Name Hometown
1
RF
16
Eric Lingren Quartz Hill, California
2
2B
1
Adam Alva Sanger, California
3
LF
22
Justin Crisp Fresno, California
4
P/DH
42
Nelson Caraballo Torrance, California
5
3B
8
Elliot Salcedo Wilmington, California
6
1B
11
Justin Rhoades Cambria, California
7
C
18
Mike Pierce Fresno, California
8
CF
10
Brett Howard Coalinga, California
9
SS
2
Kyle Newton Visalia, California

Weekend Rotation

Game
No
Pos
Name Hometown
Friday
42
RHP
Nelson Caraballo Torrance, California
Saturday (G 1)
43
RHP
Tom Hosack Placentia, California
Saturday (G 2)
35
RHP
Josh Franco Selma, California

Team Notes
*
Of the 34 active players on the team, all but six come from the Central San Joaquin Valley.
* Three of the student-athletes are President’s Scholars; several others are Provost’s Scholars and Dean’s Scholars.
*Five of these players serve on the leadership board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) at FPU; three are on the FCA Fresno County board.
*Two members have been drafted twice in Major League Baseball’s Amateur Draft.
*Two players were named to the Junior Olympic Team.
*Seven players signed with and/or played with Division I baseball teams.

History
FPU’s first baseball club team emerged in the mid 1960s. A second attempt at baseball occurred in the 1980s. FPU’s most recent baseball club started five years ago and has played a 15-20 game schedule against such teams as University of California Santa Cruz, Humboldt State University and California State University, Monterey Bay.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^.

Fresno Pacific University offers undergraduate and graduate programs that stress solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation. Each year more than 2,000 traditional and adult students attend classes on the 42-acre main campus in southeast Fresno or centers in Visalia and Bakersfield. The university also reaches 12,000 students across the nation and around the world through professional development studies programs. The only four-year Christian university in the Central Valley, FPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and ranked in the top quarter among Western universities master's category by U.S. News & World Report.

2006 Season at a glance...
Opponent
Score
Record
PATTEN
PATTEN
PATTEN
@ San Francisco State
SAN FRANCISCO ST
SAN FRANCISCO ST
CONCORDIA *
CONCORDIA *
@ Azusa Pacific * L 5-8
@ Azusa Pacific * L 8-14
@ California Baptist *
@ California Baptist *
CSU MONT. BAY L 2-6
@ Pt Loma Nazarene
@ Pt Loma Nazarene
@ The Master's *
@ The Master's *
7-7
@ Vanguard *
@ CSU Monterey Bay
BIOLA *
BIOLA *
BETHANY
BETHANY
@ Westmont * L 3-8
@ Westmont *
@ San Jose State
APU * (R) W 8-6
APU * (R) W 7-6
@ Concordia * L 6-9
@ Concordia * W 5-3
@ Menlo Rain Out
@ Menlo Rain Out
@ Menlo Rain Out
CAL BAPTIST * (C) L 3-9
CAL BAPTIST * (C) L 0-4
@ Vanguard * L 2-3
@ Vanguard * W 12-3
PT LOMA NAZ * (C)
PT LOMA NAZ * (C)
@ The Master's *
THE MASTER'S *
THE MASTER'S *
@ CSU Chico
@ CSU Chico
@ CSU Los Angeles
@ CSU Los Angeles L 0-4
VANGUARD * (C) W 8-5
VANGUARD * (C) L 2-4
WESTMONT * (C) W 12-5
WESTMONT * (C)
@ Biola * L 5-9
@ Biola * L 4-5
BIOLA * L 2-7 17-26, 12-19
BIOLA * W 4-3 18-26, 13-19
* GSAC contest
C = Clovis East High School
R = Reedley College