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Friday, January 27, 2006 - FPU  Season Opener

Play Ball! Sunbirds win opener over Patten University

Box score (unofficial)

Fresno - It was cold, but that didn't matter to the more than 300 people who witnessed the first official intercollegiate baseball game in FPU history.

As a portable sound-system blared 'Put me in coach, I'm ready to play today' smiles were everywhere.

None was bigger than on the face of FPU president D. Merrill Ewert. "This is just great," beamed Ewert. "I've been waiting for this day for a long time. People in Fresno love baseball. Look at this roster. This is a Valley team."

The sentiments were similar throughout the crowd.

"We've waited a long time for this," said Tim Franz, who played for the Fresno Pacific club team in the mid-1970's and was one of four persons honored to throw out the first pitch.

Franz stood next to fellow 70's classmate Wayne Wiebe as Wiebe photographed the scene before him.

"This is great," echoed Wiebe, whose son Jordan now attends FPU and is a vocal member of the student cheering section at FPU athletic events. "How long have we waited for this?"

Bundled in warm winter clothing, huddled in blankets and sleeping bags and drinking free hot chocolate and apple cider, most of the crowd stayed to the end. That came in the seventh inning by the 10-run mercy rule.

Officially the Sunbirds, in their brand-spanking new white uniforms, won the game 11-1. Nelson Caraballo scattered three hits and struck out seven over six innings to post the win.

The visiting Patten University Lions manufactured a run in the top of the first for their only lead of the game.

The Sunbirds responded with a pair of runs in the second inning, added three in the third, one in the fifth and then put it out of reach with four in the sixth.

Adam Alva, a Sanger High grad who transferred from Reedley College, was three-for-four on the night with a pair of singles and a triple to the alley in left-center. Alva also scored twice and drove in another.

"How special was this?" said FPU head coach Oscar Hirschkorn after the game. "This was great. We needed this. After all the practice and preparation over the past year it was great to get out onto the field and play a real game. I'm excited about FPU baseball and I excited about the people that are here to support us."

The two teams hook up for a double-header today. The first pitch will be thrown at 11:00 a.m. at Clovis East High School.

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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