2018 Gopher Baseball Schedule
The 2018 season will see Gopher Baseball play exactly half of its 56-game schedule in Minneapolis as the team revealed its full slate of foes for the 130th campaign in the program's history.
The season opens Friday, Feb. 16 as the team heads for a four-game, three-day trip to Atlanta, Georgia for a lid-lifting match-up with Georgia Tech, followed by a Saturday doubleheader against Kennesaw State, and finally a Sunday matinee against Georgia State. The Gophers will remain in the southeast the following week as they travel to Fort Myers, Florida for an exhibition match-up against the hometown Minnesota Twins.
"The opportunity to play an exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers will be a special treat for our players," said head coach John Anderson, who will stand across the diamond against former Gopher teammate and current Twins manager Paul Molitor for the second time in his career. The two preeminent Minnesota baseball squads faced off two seasons ago on March 4, 2015.
From there, the Maroon & Gold travel to Port Charlotte, Florida to compete at the Snowbird Classic from Friday. Feb. 23 until Sunday, Feb. 25. The Gophers take on Boston College, Chicago State, and Mount St. Mary's.
The home schedule opens Tuesday, Feb. 27 as Minnesota begins nearly two weeks of games at U.S. Bank Stadium. "For the first time in many years, we have been able to schedule 56 games, balanced home and away due to the opportunity to play 13 games at impressive U.S. Bank Stadium," said Anderson. The Gophers face North Dakota State on the turf to begin their stay followed by South Dakota State the following day. Each game is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Woven in and around the usual 24-game Big Ten schedule, Minnesota faces 18 games against NCAA Tournament teams from spring 2017. The Gophers welcome two such foes as six top teams descend on Minneapolis the weekend of Mar. 2-4 for the DQ Classic-Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan State will represent the Big Ten against Arizona, UCLA, and Washington for three days of baseball action.
The Gophers remain at U.S. Bank Stadium the following week for single games against Nebraska-Omaha on Tuesday, Mar. 6 and UW-Milwaukee on Wednesday, Mar. 7, as well as a three-game series against Creighton the weekend of Mar. 9-11. The team then travels to Texas for single games against George Washington University on Tuesday, Mar. 13, and UT-Arlington on Wednesday, Mar. 14 before a three-game showdown with TCU the weekend of Mar. 16-18.
The Big Ten schedule opens with a series against defending league champion Nebraska on the road the following weekend on Mar. 23-25. Minnesota will host St. John's University (N.Y.) in a three-game set on Mar. 29-31 to wrap up nine-consecutive games against NCAA tournament teams as well as the team's stay at U.S. Bank Stadium for the year.
"I believe in playing a strong non-conference schedule that will challenge our team and provide us the information we need to improve and grow as we prepare for the difficult Big Ten Conference schedule," said Anderson. "The schedule also gives us strong geographical balance with games against teams from the four regions of the country that hopefully will positively impact the RPI at end of the year."
As the calendar turns to April, the Gophers will travel to St. Louis University for a two-game series on Apr. 2-3 before returning to Minneapolis for the team's first home Big Ten series against Penn State on Apr. 6-8. Minnesota heads out on the road to face Purdue on Apr. 13-15 and Ohio State on Apr. 27-29 while welcoming Iowa to Minneapolis for a big series Apr. 20-22. The Hawkeyes finished just behind the Gophers in the Big Ten standings a season ago. NDSU and SDSU will also return to Minneapolis for single games on Tuesday, Apr. 10 and Tuesday, Apr. 17, respectively.
Minnesota will open May with seven-straight games at Siebert Field, welcoming former Gopher All-American infielder Brian Raabe back as the coach of Bethel (Minn.) University for a game on Wednesday, May 2 before a pair of conference series against Indiana on May 4-6 and Michigan State on May 11-13. The team will meet St. John's University for a fourth and final time, this time on the road, Tuesday, May 15 ahead of the regular season finale series at Rutgers Thursday - Saturday, May 17-19.
The entire season leads up to the 2017 Big Ten Conference Tournament, taking place May 23-27 in Omaha, Nebraska with a bid to the NCAA National Tournament on the line. The Gophers will hope to be one of those teams claiming a berth as Regionals open play June 1-3 at host sites, Super Regionals June 5-7, and the College World Series taking place June 15-27 back in Omaha.
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