The Gophers will play at the Metrodome a lot in the coming weeks. This weekend, they gave their hometown fans a preview of what they can hope to expect during the long homestand.
Minnesota took three of four games from Western Michigan during its first home stand of the season. The Gophers won 7-1 on Friday, the teams split two games Saturday, and Minnesota won a 9-2 matinee Sunday.
Minnesota played solid defense and showed progress offensively against Western Michigan.
The Gophers were tested by No. 2 University of California-Los Angeles in their first series of the season.
The Bruins boasted some of the best pitching and hitting the Gophers will see all year and took two of three from Minnesota in Los Angeles.
But the Gophers will play their next 17 nonconference games in Minneapolis, and head coach John Anderson said the home field will give his team a chance to build some confidence — especially the younger players.
Minnesota won’t travel again until the last week in March.
Minnesota upset UCLA on Friday but was outscored 28-1 in two losses.
Of all the positions on the baseball diamond, Gophers pitchers have garnered the most major league attention in recent years.
Since 2006, three of the four former Gophers players to make major league debuts were pitchers, including the Minnesota Twins’ Glen Perkins and Cole De Vries. The most recent draftee is TJ Oakes, who signed with the Colorado Rockies in June and is currently playing in the minor leagues.
Three ex-Gophers pitchers have made baseball headlines recently. Two play for the Twins.