Clovis News

Clovis grad stymies Sunbirds

Home cooking for Tyler Bersano turned into a home loss for Fresno Pacific on Thursday night in a Golden State Athletic Conference baseball game.

Bersano, from Clovis High, pitched seven shutout innings as The Master's downed the Sunbirds 7-3 at Fresno Pacific's diamond.

"It's always nice to pitch at home," Bersano said after the game, as his family served barbecue dinner to his teammates and coaches.

"I pitched against a bunch of my buddies tonight."

The sophomore made the Mustangs' starting rotation this season after throwing mostly in relief last year. He entered Thursday's game at 5-1, with a 1.37 ERA.

Fresno Pacific could manage only three hits off Bersano, who left with a 7-0 lead. The Sunbirds mounted a rally against reliever Eric Blackwell, but three runs in the eighth were too little and too late.

The Master's improved to 12-4 in the GSAC. They're ranked No. 15 in the NAIA and Bersano credits better offense.

"We've surprised ourselves," he said. "We have way more bats this year and the pitchers love it."

For Fresno Pacific (10-8 GSAC), it was the second loss in eight days against The Master's. The Sunbirds lost 6-5 on a walk-off home run in an extra-inning affair in Santa Clarita last week.

Oscar Hirschkorn believes his Sunbirds, who have dropped from No. 12 to No. 23 in the rankings, are better than they've played lately and needed to regain their sharpness.

"This is a big week," Hirschkorn said before Thursday's game.

Afterward, he labeled Saturday's doubleheader against Cal Baptist as "huge."

"We aren't playing well," Hirschkorn said. "We've got to quit giving opponents the first five innings of the game.

"I need to find the right buttons to push as a coach," he said. "I've been pushing buttons, but not the right ones."