Watch CBS News

Saint Mary's University baseball team to play outdoor home game in February: "It's kind of crazy"

Outdoor baseball in February? It’s happening in Winona
Outdoor baseball in February? It’s happening in Winona 02:04

WINONA, Minn. — How about an outdoor baseball game in February? It's happening at a college in Winona and it's not just our warm, winter weather that's making it possible.

It's been the winter whimper — at least for snow and ice lovers. And the winter that is left is quickly giving way to the boys of summer.

"It's kind of crazy to think about it. We've practiced more outside than we have inside at this point," said Coach Nick Winecke at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

In fact, the Saint Mary's baseball team has been practicing outdoors since the beginning of February.

"As we sit out here it's almost 50 degrees, the sun is shining, it's just wonderful," said Winecke.

RELATED: Caitlin Clark is chasing more scoring records. Here is what to watch for from the Iowa star

So, they're going to try and take it a step further. Like turning a single into a double, they have games scheduled for this Sunday and Monday. When Winecke called the other teams to play, there was no hesitation.

"Got a hold of them and said, 'I think our field is going to be ready. The temperatures look great, let's think about moving the games up,'" said Winecke.

This would easily be the earliest home game Saint Mary's ever played.

Two years ago, it was snowy and cold and they only had five game days the entire season. This year they could pass that number by mid-March. That is when outdoor practice typically begins if they're lucky.

Plus, the college's new infield turf installed last August means players don't have to deal with frozen ground. It definitely beats practicing inside.

"For an outfielder, you really can't field fly balls when there is a ceiling 30 feet higher than where you are," said Cam Miller.

RELATED: Gopher hockey's Skylar Vetter has big goals, with eyes set on turning pro

"Being a Minnesota kid you are used to living in the North Pole this time of year, so it's great," said Eric Stomberg, pitcher.

It's strange for Winecke to be scheduling games due to the weather, not canceling them. And as long as Mother Nature plays ball, they will too.

"You know it's good when you see the players come out to practice every day with big smiles on their faces," said Winecke. "Everybody just keeps waiting for the shoe to drop this year, but we are just going to keep doing until it does."

Saint Mary's will play Bethany Lutheran College on Sunday and Luther College on Monday. To put it in perspective, those games were supposed to be played in early April. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.