March 25, 2014
The Golden Gopher baseball team spent the first six weekends of its season, plus some weekdays, on the road. Moving into Minnesota’s first home games of 2014, we took a short look back at the Gophers’ travel destinations.
Most Pristine Fields: Camelback Ranch - Glendale, Ariz.
From the practice fields to the stadium field, the grass surfaces at Camelback Ranch were wonderful, and the stadium a top-notch spring training park for the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.
How the Gophers fared: Swept a three-game series against Northern Illinois.
Best Foliage: City of Palms Park - Fort Myers, Fla.
The park was true to its name, with palm trees lining the outfield wall. Those trees gave the series a true Florida and spring training feel.
How the Gophers fared: Went 1-2 against Creighton.
Best Story to Tell: Travel to and from Ruston, La.
The Gopher baseball version of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” saw a flight cancellation, an out-of-the way connection (from Minneapolis to New York to Dallas), an extra-long bus ride, an extra day in Dallas and more. Read the trip breakdown here.
How the Gophers fared: Won two of three games at Louisiana Tech.
Best Hotel Room View: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Our rooms had balconies overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It was nice to watch and hear the ocean, and there was easy access to walk on the beach.
How the Gophers fared: Lost to Elon and UNC Greensboro and beat Coastal Carolina.
Best Side Trip Destination: San Francisco, Calif.
The day after arriving in Moraga from Sacramento, the team had the option to bus to San Francisco. The Gophers saw AT&T Park, the crooked part of Lombard Street, the Golden Gate Bridge and more.
How the Gophers fared: Won two of three at Sacramento State and both games at Saint Mary’s.
Most Like Home: St. Charles, Mo.
Minnesota opened its Big Ten season on a turf field similar to Siebert Field. It was also the coldest weather the Gophers played in so far this season. That could help them prepare for their early-season home games in Minneapolis.
How the Gophers fared: Won two of three against Northwestern.
Around the Bases with Matt Fiedler
Junior Matt Fiedler has been all over the diamond early in his Gophers career.
Around the Bases with Jeff Fasching
Jeff Fasching, a sophomore pitcher, tossed eight innings of relief for the Gophers last season.
Around the Bases with Luke Pettersen
After a successful first season with the Gophers, Luke Pettersen enters his sophomore season on campus.