Johnson City, Tenn. (
The Owls, who are entering their final season of play in the A-Sun, received nine of a possible 11 votes in the coaches poll while rival Stetson garnered the remaining two votes to stand second. The media poll was similar with FAU grabbing seven first place votes to sneak past the Hatters for the top spot by just one point.
Following the pair of traditional powers is newcomer UNF who is only one year removed from reaching the NCAA Division II title game. Gardner-Webb lands fourth followed by ETSU and Jacksonville. First year member Kennesaw State stands as a solid seventh place in both polls while Belmont, Campbell, Lipscomb and Mercer rank in the bottom four spots in slightly different order in each poll.
Another media outlet, Southeastern Baseball, projected a third place conference finish for the Buccaneers.
"We are very excited about the start of the season," said head coach Tony Skole. "As always I'm not concerned with where the pollsters believe we stand prior to the season. I really like our ball club and the kids are working extremely hard."
The Bucs placed one player on the preseason all-conference team, senior outfielder Shane Byrne (
"We have high expectations but we also understand the high quality of baseball played in the Atlantic Sun Conference," said Skole. "We have a very difficult schedule ahead of us which will be a great challenge."
The Bucs open their 2006 season February 3 at home against