TUCSON, ARIZ.- Following their first 40 win campaign in program history, the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers have received a preseason top 20 ranking from Collegiate Baseball News as announced this week. The Bucs, coming off of a 40-14 record in 2019 were ranked 20th by the organization.
The 2020 preseason poll was topped by Central Arizona with Iowa Western, Walters State, Chipola, and McLennan rounding out the top five. The Bucs were one of four teams from Florida in the poll, joining the aforementioned Indians as well as #8 Northwest Florida and #15 Central Florida. The Sunshine State's four teams were more than any other state in the country.
It was a record shattering year for FSW Baseball in 2019 as they set a program record with 40 wins while winning their first Suncoast Conference Championship and making their first appearance in the FCSAA State Tournament. The Bucs' list of firsts didn't stop there however as they were ranked inside the NJCAA's top 20 for the first time, peaking at #4, and also had their highest draft pick in FSW history when Ryan Gusto went in the 11th round to the Houston Astros in June. The Bucs sent 11 of their sophomores to the NCAA Division I level.
FSW returns eight sophomores to the fold in 2020 while also adding some experience via the transfer route. Bucs fans will notice a number of a familiar names in the batting order this season, but will see some new faces on the mound after FSW lost 9 of their top 11 innings eaters from a year ago.
The Bucs open their 2020 campaign on January 28th when they battle State College of Florida in a non-conference contest at CoolToday Park in North Port, the Spring Training home of the Atlanta Braves.