FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University baseball team is ranked 12th in the preseason 2010 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II Top 40 poll.
The Patriots finished 2009 with a 38-15-1 record, placed second during the Peach Belt Conference regular season and won the PBC Tournament, and earned the team’s fourth NCAA Division II national tournament bid in the past seven years, placing third at the Southeast Regional. Francis Marion was ranked 14th in the final 2009 poll.
Tenth-year FMU head coach Art Inabinet welcomes back 21 lettermen, including six position starters, the designated hitter, and three starting pitchers, from that squad.
Dating back to the 2005 season, the Patriots have now appeared in 79 of the past 85 national polls.
Five PBC squads are listed in the preseason poll, and six opponents on FMU’s 2010 schedule appear in the poll. Emporia State University occupies the No.1 position in the preseason poll, while defending national champion Lynn University is 10th.
Francis Marion’s 38 victories last season were the second-most in team history. The squad posted a 5-5 mark against nationally ranked opponents in 2009, and closed the season by winning 17 of its final 19 contests.
The Patriots will open their 2010 campaign on Feb. 2 with an afternoon road game at Barton College.