Floridians handle the cold

VCC pitchers adopt to new surroundings, lift Ironmen to sweep

Jacob Worley and Jakob Wiirre grew up playing baseball in Florida, and they adjusted Monday to outdoor baseball conditions that had little resemblance to the Sunshine State.
Both Vermilion pitchers adjusted to the elements, and pitched the Ironmen to a community college baseball sweep of rival Mesabi on Monday in Aurora.
Worley was masterful in the second game, striking out 10 batters and allowing only two hits in a 4-1 Vermilion win.
In the opening game, Wiirre overcame some early struggles, settled in and struck out nine while going the distance as the Ironmen prevailed 9-7.
Vermilion improved to 4-2 on the season.
While artificial turf made the twinbill possible, it began in temperatures under 40 degrees on a damp Monday morning.
The sun peaked out by the time Worley took the mound for the nightcap, but conditions were nothing like a warm, sunny day in Florida.
Worley, who came to Ely from Winter Garden, didn’t appear to have any issues with the weather.
After giving up an unearned run in the top of the first, the righthander settled in and allowed just one more hit the rest of the way, retiring the final five batters in the game.
Wiirre has Ely family ties and may be more used to cold weather, but he played youth and high school ball in Titusville and came to VCC after a season at NCAA Division I Florida A&M.
After a couple of costly walks, he yielded a third inning grand slam in the opener and a two-run shot the following inning.
But as temperatures warmed, so did Wiirre with a fastball hitting the high-80s late in the game.
He struck out the side in the seventh to finish one shy of double digits but had issues with control, walking five and hitting three batters. Mesabi had just five hits.
“Jakob Wiirre had to battle through some adversity and I thought he stepped up and competed well at the end,” said Vermilion Head Coach Tom Coombe. “And in the second game, Jacob Worley had as good of a pitching outing as you will see. He was dominant.”
The first game featured 11 Vermilion hits, including freshman Terren Sugita’s first career college home run.
The three-run blast in the top of the fourth gave VCC the lead to stay and the Alaska native finished with two hits and two runs batted in.
Cameron Peterson had two hits and scored twice for the Ironmen, and Steven Peterson added two hits.
Graham Porter and Jonathan Leon knocked in runs in the third inning of game number two, putting Vermilion ahead 2-1.
Tommy Dubbs scored an insurance run on a throwing error, while Cole Ramczyk’s sacrifice fly made it 4-1 in the sixth.
Cameron Peterson and Leon both had two hits for VCC.
The doubleheader at Aurora kicked off a busy week, with the Ironmen playing a four-game series Friday and Saturday with Anoka-Ramsey.