FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University baseball team is ranked 11th in the preseason 2006 Collegiate Baseball Magazine NCAA Division II Top 40 poll, released on Wednesday.
The Patriots ended the 2005 season ranked 14th with a 34-16-1 mark, one win shy of the school record for victories in a season. Francis Marion made its second NCAA national tournament appearance in three years. Ten of the 16 losses were to nationally ranked opponents. The Patriots, unranked in the 2005 preseason poll, appeared in the final 14 polls of the 2005 campaign, including six weeks spent in the Top 10.
Four Peach Belt Conference squads are listed in the preseason poll, equaling the most from any one conference. Defending national champion Florida Southern College occupies the No. 1 position.
Sixth-year FMU head coach Art Inabinet welcomes back 16 of 27 lettermen from last season, including four position starters and three starting pitchers. Francis Marion opens its season Feb. 4 at Wingate University.
Seven opponents that appear on the 2006 FMU schedule are either ranked in the preseason poll or received votes.