Ironmen swept in season debut

The Vermilion Ironmen aren’t easing their way into the 2020 community college baseball season.
In advance of a Florida trip that includes three contests with nationally-rated opponents, Vermilion opened the 2020 season Feb. 27 - under the roof at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis- against perennial power Rochester.
A final-four team in the region last spring, the Yellowjackets used superior depth and strong pitching to score a 7-2, 6-0 sweep.
Rochester pitchers walked only two batters in the late-night, early-morning twinbill while Vermilion pitchers combined to issue 21 free passes.
That was the difference in the games.
“We just walked way too many people to have a chance to win,” said Vermilion Head Coach Tom Coombe. “What’s amazing is we were competitive in the first game until late in the game despite walking so many.”
Vermilion led 2-0 early in the opening game and trailed 3-2 in the fifth before the Yellowjackets put the game away with consecutive two-run innings.
Freshman Tyler Housey, a former Ely Timberwolf, singled in a run in the third and later scored on an infield hit by Jesse Jahn.
That was all VCC could muster against rochester pitching, while the Yellowjackets made the most of their six hits.
Freshman Cameron Peterson was chased in teh third inning after issuing four straight walks. Two other freshmen - Ryan Kling and Cade Wallace - worked in relief.
Rochester scored three times against sophomore starter Kaleb Beane in the first inning of the nightcap.
VCC’s most effective pitcher of the day may have been freshman Chris Rojas of Provo, Utah. He worked three innings, allowed one run and walked only one.
At the plate, freshman shortstop Jonathan Leon had two hits.
Vermilion is in the midst of a seven-game swing through Florida. The Ironmen tangle with local rival Mesabi in a Monday doubleheader at Winter Haven.