MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Twin Cities golf courses aren’t the only ones taking advantage of a rare record-warm weekend expected.

Some baseball teams are taking advantage of Friday’s mild weather and playing outdoor baseball. You read that correctly, outdoor baseball in February in Minnesota.

Minnetonka High School is serving as the host facility for a non-conference small college baseball game Friday as the University of St. Thomas junior varsity team is facing Dakota County Technical College. To the best of anyone’s recollection affiliated with the game, it’s the earliest baseball has ever been played outside in Minnesota.

Part of the reason the early outdoor game is possible is because Minnetonka has an artificial turf field that takes little maintenance to prepare for early outdoor baseball.

“It makes it very easy for us to play and it makes that first phone call when you see what the weather is going to be, Minnetonka is usually the first call with the turf there. Thank God they could get it ready for us,” Dakota County coach Matt Erzar said.

Erzar said it’s especially important to get outside as early as possible, when most teams are spending February doing drills indoors in gyms.

“For us personally it’s stir crazy (being inside). It’s awesome, February 17 and we’re playing ball outside with no sleeves on,” Erzar said. “Absolutely this is great to be a part of this and for our guys to get out and get going.”

It’s a perfect day for baseball as most spring games are played in 30 to 40-degree weather. The two teams will play a doubleheader at Minnetonka High School.

Mike Max