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Gophers shift 2011 Big Ten season to Target Field

Minnesota Golden GophersWith the Metrodome down for the count, the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher baseball team will play all of its Big Ten home games in the 2011 season at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.

Minnesota will open Big Ten play on Friday, April 1 at 1:05 p.m. with a doubleheader against Purdue at Target Field. The Gophers will finish the series on Saturday, April 2 at 1:05 p.m. The Gophers will play a conventional three-game series against Northwestern on Friday, April 15 at 3:05 p.m., Saturday, April 16 at 3:05 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 at 1:05 p.m.

The Gophers will also host Iowa in a rematch of the 2010 Big Ten Tournament Championship game on Friday, April 29 at 3:05 p.m., Saturday, April 30 at 1:05 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 at 1:05 p.m. Minnesota’s final conference series will be against Ohio State. That series will start with a doubleheader on Thursday, May 19 at 3:05 p.m. and a single-game on Friday, May 20 at 3:05 p.m. When Minnesota faces Purdue and Ohio State, there will be an extra day available (Sunday, Apr. 3 against Purdue and Saturday, May 21 against Ohio State) in case of any postponements due to weather.

Ticket information for the 12 games at Target Field will be released jointly by the Minnesota Twins and the University of Minnesota a later date.

“We are extremely grateful to the Minnesota Twins organization for allowing us to use Target Field for our 2011 conference slate,” said Minnesota Head Coach John Anderson. “From the moment the Metrodome roof collapsed, the Pohlad family and the entire Twins organization have bent over backwards to help us make this work. It will obviously be exciting for our team to be able to play 12 games at Target Field, and we feel like it is another great example of the Twins efforts to go above and beyond to help our program. We feel extremely lucky to have the type of relationship we do with the Minnesota Twins.”

Minnesota was originally supposed to play 31 homes games in the Metrodome this season before the roof collapsed. The Gophers rescheduled the Dairy Queen Classic (March 4-6) in Tucson, Ariz. at the Kino Complex. Minnesota scheduled a three-game series against Gonzaga at Sacramento, Calif. on March 11-13 in place of the Metrodome Tournament which originally included Butler, Gonzaga and Illinois.

The Gophers cancelled their originally scheduled games against Washington State on March 3, Hamline (March 9), two-game series against North Dakota State (March 22-23) and the two-game series against Cal-State Bakersfield (March 29-30). Minnesota also switched its contract with Cal Poly and will now travel to San Luis Obispo, Calif. to play the Mustangs on March 25-27. Cal Poly is scheduled to face Minnesota in Minneapolis on March 17-19, 2012.

Minnesota’s two-game series with Kansas State, which was originally scheduled for April 5-6, has been pushed back to the 2012 season.

The Gophers are also scheduled to play three midweek games at Siebert Field this season. Minnesota will face St. Thomas on Wednesday, April 13 at 3:05 p.m., South Dakota State on Wednesday, April 20 at 3:05 p.m. and North Dakota State on Tuesday, May 17 at 6:35 p.m. The North Dakota State matchup was rescheduled off the two-game series on March 22-23 that was cancelled.

RELATED STORIES: Metrodome out for the count; Gophers working on backup plan; Metrodome roof won’t be fixed until March; Dome roof could be repaired for Gophers season; Will Metrodome be ready for baseball season?; Metrodome roof collapses in dramatic fashion; Pohlads pledge $2 million toward new U of Minnesota ballpark; U of Minnesota announces ballpark plan — kinda

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