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Back to the Great Outdoors (Hopefully)

It has been a couple of weeks since my last blog post, and that is because it has been a couple weeks since our last game. The team returned home from Florida to piles of snow and unplayable fields.

We went back to practicing in the Concordia Dome and our indoor “Pole Barn” facility. Pitchers have gotten plenty of work in facing our hitters, and we have spent countless hours working on ground balls and PFP’s (Pitcher fielding practice).

The Golden Bears were all set to get back outside against in-conference foe Southwest Minnesota State last week in Marshall, Minn. Due to unplayable conditions the games were then moved to a turf field at Minnetonka High School. But another snow storm in the twin cities area led to yet another schedule change. The games were then set to be played on Monday and Tuesday in Sioux City, Iowa, but a snowstorm in the Sioux City area eventually doomed the series, and the games were cancelled with us never leaving campus.

Barnes Field on March 30th

This put us back inside for another week of practice, but the temperatures in St. Paul started to rise. We spent Wednesday working to clear snow off the field in preparation for our upcoming home opener Wednesday, March 6 against Minnesota State, Mankato. The pictures show the field covered in snow, but through hard work by the coaches and players we managed to clear the field. As of this afternoon there was only a little bit of snow left in front of the first base dugout.

We are now scheduled to play our first games in Minnesota against Hamline University tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. at Veterans Field at Minnetonka High School. We are hoping the weather cooperates and we are able to get the games in under the lights. Our weekend starters should split the Sunday double header to prepare for next week’s conference weekend series against Bemidji State.

Head coach Lunch McKenzie using a blow torch on the ice

Assuming the weather holds on all week we should host Minnesota State, Mankato for the 2011 home opener at 1:30 p.m. next Wednesday. With that double header being a mid-week game, I could potentially get a start, but who knows how the weather will hold up, and how the pitching rotation will play out. I, and the rest of the pitching staff, have to stay ready to get out there and throw strikes at any time.

The weather of the upper Midwest is always tough on the college baseball season, but it appears if spring is starting to move into Minnesota, and we should start getting our games in.

After the Hamline games tomorrow, we will have all conference games the rest of the way to decide who goes to the NSIC tournament and also the NCAA regional. Even without having played since Florida, we moved up to 8th in the latest NCBWA Central regional poll.

Hopefully the next blog will be filled with game highlights!

-Go Golden Bears-