The Fresno Pacific baseball team will open defense of its national title Wednesday at the National Christian Colleges Athletic Association World Series in Mason, Ohio.
The Sunbirds (34-18), the No. 1 overall seed, start pool play game eighth-seeded Toccoa Falls College of Georgia at Prasco Park at 11 a.m.
Fresno Pacific is led by senior left-hander and Pacific West Conference Pitcher of the Year Wilson Ashford (9-2, 1.69 ERA). Ashford ranks second in the league in wins, posted 11 quality starts in 12 appearances and is the baseball program leader in almost every career category, including innings pitched (296), wins (29), earned-run average (2.58) and strikeouts (207).
Joining Fresno Pacific and Toccoa Falls in Pool A are No. 4-seed Palm Beach Atlantic of Florida, No. 5 Central Baptist of Conway, Arkansas, and No. 9 Bluefield (Va).
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Pool B is highlighted by No. 2-seed Lee, which the Sunbirds beat in the title game last season. Also in that pool are No. 3 Oklahoma Christian, No. 6 Bethesda, No. 7 Trinity Christian and No. 10 Oakland City.
Fresno Pacific will play its two remaining pool-play games Thursday, against Bluefield at 10 a.m. and Palm Beach Atlantic at 4 p.m.
The top two teams from each pool advance to semifinal games Friday. The winner of Pool A will play the runner-up from Pool B, while the winner of Pool B will play the runner-up from Pool A. The semifinal winners meet for the national title Saturday.
All games will be live-streamed online by the Torbeau Sports Group. To watch, go to www.prascopark.com and follow the “Links” tab on the left side of the page.
NCCAA World Series schedule
Prasco Park: Oklahoma Christian vs. Bethesda, 8 a.m; Fresno Pacific vs. Toccoa Falls, 11 a.m; Palm Beach Atlantic vs. Bluefield, 2 p.m; Fresno Pacific vs. Central Baptist, 5 p.m.
Legacy Field: Palm Beach vs. Central Baptist, 7 a.m; Lee vs. Trinity Christian, 10 a.m; Oklahoma Christian vs. Oakland City, 1 p.m; Lee vs. Bethesda, 5 p.m.
Prasco Park: Bethesda vs. Trinity Christian, 8 a.m.; Lee vs. Oakland City, 11 a.m; Trinity Christian vs. Oakland City, 2 p.m; Lee vs. Oklahoma Christian, 5 p.m.
Legacy Field: Central Baptist vs. Toccoa Falls, 7 a.m.; Fresno Pacific vs. Bluefield, 10 a.m.; Toccoa Falls vs. Bluefield, 1 p.m.; Fresno Pacific vs. Palm Beach Atlantic, 4 p.m.
Prasco Park: Palm Beach Atlantic vs. Toccoa Falls, 8 a.m; Central Baptist vs. Bluefield, 11 a.m.
Legacy Field: Oklahoma Christian vs. Trinity Christian, 7 a.m; Bethesda vs. Oakland City, 10 a.m.
Pool A winner vs. Pool B runner-up, 2 p.m.
Pool B winner vs. Pool A runner-up, 5 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 10 a.m.