FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Francis Marion University earned the right to stay home for the first games of the NCAA Division II baseball tournament, but that won't make their road much easier.
The Patriots open post-season play Thursday evening at 7 p.m. against Erskine College.
The Patriots, the top seed in the Southeast Regional hosted in Florence, have one of the toughest regionals in the country with all six teams bringing a lot of talent to the Pee Dee.
"Four teams in the top 10 in one regional, then the No. 17 and 19 team, as well," said FMU head coach Art Inabinet. "All six teams are ranked in the top 30 - it's going to be an exciting regional."
Inabinet says his team is happy to be playing at home, sleeping in their own beds, getting dressed in their normal locker room. Still, there are some nerves when it comes to beginning a hopeful run to Cary, NC, and the Division II College World Series.
"They're anxious," said Inabinet. "They're excited to get going. They're disappointed with their effort last week at the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. Hopefully, we'll respond. Usually good teams come back and play well. We're going to need to play well tonight to have a chance."
Francis Marion takes on No. 6 seed and 17th-ranked Erskine College at 7 p.m. The regional is a double-elimination format.