WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Coming off another NCAA tournament appearance and returning seven position starters from one of the nation's top offenses, UNCW is ranked 24th in D1Baseball's preseason top-25 rankings released on Tuesday.
Heading up that high-octane lineup are junior All-Americas Nick Feight and Brian Mims along with All-East Region outfielder senior Robbie Thorburn. The Seahawks finished third nationally in runs per game, averaging 8.4 runs per game, and total home runs with 87.
Feight tied school records with 24 doubles and 21 home runs while hitting a career-high .349 with a nation-leading 91 runs batted in. Mims, meanwhile, is the top returning hitter for UNCW with a .371 average and added 14 home runs and 71 runs scored. Looking to set the table for Feight and Mims is Thorburn, who finished with a career-best .364 average while scoring 58 runs and stealing 20 bases, also a career-high.
The Seahawks posted a 41-19 record, including a 16-6 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association to win the regular season title. UNCW earned an at-large bid to the Columbia Regional where it reached the finals of the regional before bowing to host South Carolina.
Among the team ranked in D1Baseball's poll are 2017 opponents Coastal Carolina, the reigning national champions, North Carolina State, North Carolina, East Carolina and Maryland. TCU enters the season ranked first followed by Florida, Florida State, South Carolina and LSU.
UNCW opens the 2017 season on Feb. 17 with a 4 p.m. start against George Mason. The Seahawks will also play Appalachian State and VMU during that opening weekend. Season and individual-game tickets are available online at UNCWsports.com/BuyTickets.