The St. Cloud State baseball team is heading south to start their 2018 campaign with a pair of games Saturday and Sunday in St. Joseph, Missouri. The Huskies open the season ranked 20th in the country by Perfect Game.

Coach Pat Dolan said his team returns a lot of experience in 2018, something they didn't have going into last season.

"Unlike last year when we had almost no experience coming back, we have eight of our nine offensive starters back," Dolan said. "We also have eight of our eleven pitchers back, so if we get any kind of coaching you'd think we could win a couple games at least."

"Our junior class has 17 members and almost every one of them has an impact on our games," Dolan said.

The Huskies have been training in the Husky Dome since mid-January for their opening series, a luxury Dolan says the team is lucky to have.

"What a great facility for our guys and for recruiting," Dolan said. "Between the Dome and Faber Field it's second to none for Division II athletics and probably for some Division I programs."

"We can live scrimmage, we can take batting practice, so there's no excuses (to not be ready to start the season)," Dolan said.

In years past, the Huskies were able to use the Metrodome for early-season games. However, since the opening of US Bank Stadium the Huskies ability to play indoors has been limited.

"It's an unbelievable facility, beats the Metrodome obviously," Dolan said. "But to be honest with you, I miss the Metrodome because no one else wanted to get in there other than us guys."

"We used to be able to play 15-20 games a year at the Dome," Dolan continued. "There are so many other events (at US Bank Stadium), so it's hard to get time."

The Huskies will play against the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on February 28th at US Bank Stadium.

"I'd like to think we'll get a couple more dates there in the future," Dolan said. "It costs $1600 per team to rent the field for a doubleheader, which is fair because it beats $10,000 for a trip to Missouri between buses and hotels and meals."

St. Cloud State will play against Missouri Western University on Saturday and Sunday. The games were originally scheduled to be played on Friday and Saturday but were moved due to inclement weather.