In a June 12 ceremony Councilmember Sal Quintero (District 5) read a proclamation and declared FPU Sunbirds Baseball Day in Fresno. The team won the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) World Series May 17 in Mason, OH.
The entire Sunbirds athletics program was also June 3 honored by the Pacific West Conference with the Community Engagement Award for the athletes' volunteer work. Pacific West (PacWest) is FPU's NCAA Division II conference.
Among its postseason awards, the baseball team became the first program to win both the NCCAA national title and Team Sportsmanship Award in the same season. The prize is given to the team showing exemplary character during the championships.
Sunbirds coach Oscar Hirschkorn was named NCCAA National Coach of the Year, and first baseman Joshua Banuelos earned NCCAA West Region Player of the Year honors, while Wilson Ashford was region pitcher of the year. Three Sunbirds were honored as All-Americans by the NCCAA: catcher John Koretoff and Banuelos on the first team and Ashford on the second team.
Five players also earned All-PacWest honors, headlined by Ashford as a first-team selection. Banuelos, outfielder Kaohu Gaspar and pitcher J.D. Salles were named to the second team and outfielder Baron Bower to the third team.
Pictured, from left: FPU Director of Athletics Leslie Schuemann, Quintero, Hirschkorn and Koretoff.
More about Sunbird athletics—including freshman Donte McDaniel being named Pacific West Conference Field Athlete of the Year after helping FPU to its first PacWest track & field championship—at fpuathletics.com/