Minnesota has released its 2011 college baseball schedule. The Golden Gophers open their season February 18-20 at the third annual Big East/Big Ten Challenge against St. John’s, Connecticut and Louisville in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, FL.
Minnesota then heads home to play eight straight games in the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The home opener is on March 3 against Washington State. Games against South Alabama, Oklahoma State and Washington State follow in the Dairy Queen Classic. After a midweek game vs. Hamline, the Golden Gophers play Butler, Gonzaga and Illinois March 11-13 in the Metrodome Tournament.
The Gophers are in California March 15-20 for two games at Sacramento State and three games at Santa Clara and then return to Minneapolis to start a 12-game Metrodome homestand. Opponents in the stretch are North Dakota State (2), Cal Poly (3), Cal-State Bakersfield (2), Purdue (3), and Kansas State (2).
The April 1-3 series vs. Purdue opens Big Ten play. Other conference home series are against Northwestern, Iowa, and Ohio State. Minnesota goes on the road in conference action to face Michigan State, Indiana, Michigan, and Penn State.
The Golden Gophers play all all 31 of their home games in the Metrodome in 2011. The program is in the process of raising funds to renovate Siebert Field, which has been in place since 1971.