Patriots Break Into Top 30 Baseball Poll at No. 15
FLORENCE, S.C. – Coming off a three-game sweep of the nation’s fourth-ranked team, the 6-1 Francis Marion University baseball team broke into the Collegiate Baseball Magazine’s Top 30 poll at the 15th position, the program’s first national ranking in 10 years.
FMU will put its new ranking on the line when the Patriots play their first road game of 2003, Tuesday at Wingate University (2-2) in a 2:30 p.m. start.
Francis Marion last appeared in the national poll at the No. 19 position in the final poll of the 1993 season. That year, the Patriots appeared in 13 of the 15 polls, and peaked at the 12th spot during the second week of April. FMU was 28-15 that season and advanced to the championship game of the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional.
At various times in 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997, FMU received votes but did not crack the poll.
Francis Marion is one of six Peach Belt Conference schools in this week’s poll. Kennesaw State University continues to occupy the No. 1 spot. FMU will visit the KSU campus for a three-game series Feb. 21-22.
Sophomore center fielder Quentin Davis (Darlington) leads the team in batting average at .429, while junior third baseman Wilson Burwell (Spartanburg) is hitting .400 with two home runs and a team-leading 13 runs batted in. The Patriot pitching staff has a combined earned run average of 2.85 with 58 strikeouts in 60 innings.
Following Tuesday’s game at Wingate, FMU will return home to host Augusta State University for a three-game PBC series this coming weekend. The two squads will play a single game on Saturday at 2 p.m. and a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.
Twenty-four of the 29 Patriot roster members for 2003 are from South Carolina.