FLORENCE, S.C. – On the heels of a season that saw the Francis Marion University baseball team equal the school record for wins and capture the Peach Belt Conference regular-season championship, the Patriots are ranked ninth in the final 2011 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II Top 30 poll, released this week.
FMU has appeared in the end-of-the-season national poll at the conclusion of each of the past seven seasons, and eight of the past nine. The final Top 10 ranking is the third ever for the Patriots and second in a row. FMU finished 10th in 2010 and sixth in 2006.
Francis Marion ended the 2011 campaign with a 41-16 record and received its third consecutive NCAA Tournament bid, reaching the regional title game for the second year in a row.
This week’s national ranking means the Patriots have appeared in 109 of the past 117 national polls dating back to the 2005 season. Francis Marion was ranked 15th in the 2011 pre-season poll, dropped out of the first two rankings, but returned to the poll and was listed 24th, 17th, 13th, 24th, 16th, 16th, 15th, 12th, sixth, eighth, and ninth for four weeks.
The Division II national champions, University of West Florida (52-9), sit atop the poll, which features five Peach Belt squads.