Recruiting a year long process for track and x-country

Dome baseball is nice when it allows a team to play during otherwise uncooperative weather, but it would be difficult to find a person who doesnâÄôt believe the game was meant to be played outdoors. In Minneapolis, the window to actually do so during the college baseball season is brief, but one the Minnesota baseball team relishes. Temperatures are expected to be in the 60s at 3:05 p.m. today when the No. 23 Gophers (20-10 overall, 6-2 Big Ten) play their first game of the season at Siebert Field against University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (12-17 overall, 6-3 Horizon). âÄúIt should be fun to play outside again in Minnesota,âÄù redshirt freshman shortstop AJ Pettersen said with a chuckle Monday, a day after he and his team completed a three-game sweep of Northwestern to slide into a tie for first place in the conference with Indiana . Before last Thursday, Minnesota hadnâÄôt set foot on Siebert since the fall, and even then, the field was too soft for fielding practice; the Gophers could only take a few swings. It puts Minnesota in the strange position of being nearly as unfamiliar with its own field as the visiting Panthers. âÄúYou have to get used to the speed of the surface and how itâÄôs going to play,âÄù head coach John Anderson said of the adjustment from the Metrodome, where the Gophers have been all season, to Siebert. âÄúYou have to bend your knees more and you have to get under the ball. The ball is probably going to stay down a little bit more.âÄù Of course, the differences between Siebert (or outdoor play in general) and the Metrodome are obvious, and the errant hops and windblown fly balls inherent to outdoor play arenâÄôt anything new for Minnesota. Playing almost half a baseball season indoors is the exception, not the rule, for these men. Plus, according to Pettersen, Siebert is as fine as they come in terms of field conditions. âÄúIâÄôm not really worried about the defense or anything because Siebert Field is unbelievable,âÄù he said. âÄúItâÄôs one of the best dirt-grass fields IâÄôve ever played on.âÄù Indeed, the field ought to be the least of the Gophers worries âÄî UW-Milwaukee will no doubt give Minnesota all it can handle. If a midweek loss to the Missouri Valley conferenceâÄôs Northern Iowa this year has taught the Gophers anything, itâÄôs that no win is certain . Pettersen is well aware: âÄúAny team can come out and beat us if we donâÄôt come out and play.âÄù The Panthers are on a six-game win streak and 1-0 against the Big Ten this year, having won 19-11 against then-No. 25 Michigan on Feb. 27.