FLORENCE, S.C. – Having already concluded its regular season, the Francis Marion University baseball team dropped two spots to 16th in the latest Collegiate Baseball Magazine NCAA Division II Top 30 poll, released Monday.
FMU ended its regular season on April 22 with a 29-18 overall mark and an 18-10 Peach Belt Conference record. However, several PBC-member schools still have one conference series remaining.
The Patriots are in third place in the conference standings, one-half game behind first-place Armstrong Atlantic State University and the University of North Florida (both 18-9 in PBC play). AASU hosts Lander University for a three-game conference series Thursday and Friday. If Lander wins two or three games in the series, AASU will drop below the Patriots in the standings and FMU will finish second in the conference. The Patriots can finish no worse than third, which would equal the program’s highest finish ever, previously accomplished in 1993 and 1997.
UNF has also concluded its conference slate. The Peach Belt Conference does not have a post-season tournament.
Francis Marion is anxiously awaiting the May 11 announcement of the NCAA Division II national tournament field to see if its season will continue. Four teams will be selected to play in the South Atlantic Regional that will be held May 15-17. There are no automatic bids, and the PBC, the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference (CVAC), and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) are the three conferences that make up the region.
FMU is 9-8 against Top-25 opponents this season, and 12 of the squad’s defeats have been by one or two runs. The Patriots swept a three-game series from UNF earlier in the year, while dropping two of three games to AASU.
This is the 13th consecutive week FMU has appeared in the poll. The Patriots have been ranked as high as No. 12.
Delta State University (48-8) is the No. 1-ranked squad for the third consecutive week. Six Peach Belt Conference schools are ranked in this week’s poll.