FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University baseball program has announced its schedule for the 2005 season.
The 54-game slate is highlighted by 30 home contests and includes the annual 30-game Peach Belt Conference schedule.
The Patriots open the year in Hartsville against local-rival Coker College on Feb. 3. FMU begins its home slate with a Feb. 5 afternoon doubleheader against Alderson-Broaddus College.
The schedule includes 20 games against opponents ranked in the Collegiate Baseball Magazine preseason NCAA Division II Top 40 poll.
Defending PBC champion and the preseason No. 4-ranked squad University of North Florida visits Cormell Field for a three-game series March 25-26. Ninth-ranked Columbus State University, the 2002 national champion and a program that advanced to the 2004 Division II World Series after placing second in the PBC, comes to Florence on Apr. 2-3.
Fifth-year Francis Marion head coach Art Inabinet welcomes back 10 of 23 lettermen from last year's 29-17 squad that finished tied for fifth place during the Peach Belt regular season. FMU won 10 of its final 11 games to get to within one win of what would have been the program’s seventh 30-win campaign. Five pitchers return from a staff that boasted a team earned run average of 3.47 – the lowest for a Patriot squad since 1982. That figure led the Peach Belt and ranked 11th nationally in NCAA Division II.
FMU is 46-11 in its last 57 home games at Cormell Field.