FLORENCE, S.C. – Following a 2010 campaign that saw Francis Marion University win 40 games for the second time in school history and reach the NCAA regional tournament final, the Patriots are ranked 15th in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s NCAA Division II Top 40 2011 pre-season poll.
Francis Marion posted a 40-14 record last season and made a second straight appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament where the Patriots hosted the Southeast Regional. The 40 victories is the second-highest win total in team history, and the Patriots ended the season ranked 10th in the nation.
The 2011 pre-season ranking means the Patriots have appeared in 95 of the past 101 national polls dating back to the 2005 season. FMU was ranked in every poll during the 2010 season, including 12 weeks in the Top 10.
Defending national champion University of Southern Indiana (52-14) occupies the No. 1 spot in the poll, while five PBC squads are ranked among the Top 40 programs.
Four opponents on the Patriots’ 2011 schedule are nationally ranked to start the season. FMU opens its season on Feb. 5 with a home doubleheader against King College.
Head coach Art Inabinet welcomes back 13 letterwinners, including four position starters and eight members of the pitching staff.