A new season for the Fresno Pacific baseball team is under way, and it's starting out a lot like last year.
The Sunbirds are 1-0 heading into Thursday's 4 p.m. doubleheader against Cal State Stanislaus in Turlock, defeating Sonoma State 8-2 in the opener Monday.
Another round of winning seems likely, with 25 players back from the 2014 team that capped its season by winning the National Christian College Athletic Association championship.
"So excited about this year's team," coach Oscar Hirschkorn said. "We have 25 of those guys back from last year's championship.team. We're further along this time of year than we ever were."
One of the players Hirschkorn is happy to see back is left-hander Wilson Ashford (8-2, 2.37 ERA).
Ashford, named PacWest Preseason Pitcher of the Year, is two wins from breaking the program's career wins record. Kelyn Schellenberg had 21 from 200-10.
"It's a new year and we have to rally together," Ashford said. "We know we have a lot of potential and can do great stuff. As long as we mesh together, I think we have a great group of guys."
The Sunbirds and Stanislaus meet again Saturday, squaring off in another doubleheader at 4 p.m. to launch the home portion of Fresno Pacific's schedule.
Editor's note; An earlier version incorrectly reported Kelyn Schellenberg's career wins total based on an error in Fresno Pacific's past statistics.