VCC’s Eden, Peterson chill Fergus Falls

For Dillon Eden and Cameron Peterson, a chilly day at the ballpark is when it’s 55 or 60 degrees.
Yet both Vermilion Community College players, who hail from Nevada and Florida, came up big on Sunday when the mercury topped out at 30.
In conditions that more resembled winter than early spring, Eden recorded 10 strikeouts on the mound and Peterson delivered three key hits in a 7-5 second-game victory for Vermilion over Minnesota rival Fergus Falls.
The Ironmen, who lost the opener 7-3, traveled to St. Peter and Gustavus Adolphus College for the non-division doubleheader, VCC’s first games since a season-opening trip to Florida.
The artificial turf field was cleared of snow but much of the doubleheader was played with temperatures in the high-20s.
But the cold didn’t seem to faze either Eden or Peterson, who were lauded as Northern Division Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively, for their efforts.
Eden, who came to Ely from Elko, Nev., relieved starter Andrew Birko in the third and dominated the rest of the way.
The hard-throwing righthander struck out the side in the fifth inning and reached double digits in strikeouts while picking up his first career collegiate win.
Peterson, one of the Ironmen’s top players a year ago, had a two-run single that gave VCC an early 3-2 lead, and the Callahan, Fla., native lined a single to left in the sixth that broke a three-all tie and put his team in front to stay.
Eden helped VCC close things out despite two unearned runs by the Spartans in the seventh.
“Dillon had probably our best pitching performance of the season in terrible conditions,” said head coach Tom Coombe. “The saving grace was the sun shining down on the turf, but it was still very very cold. Nothing like either of these guys have ever seen.”
Peterson, who is hitting .400 for the year, finished with three hits in the game while freshman Zach Cheney of North Woods broke out of a slump with a three-for-four effort at the plate.
A key hit was delivered by freshman Michael Feralio of Billings, Mont. He came off the bench in the sixth and had a two-run single that made it 6-3, and Terren Sugita followed with a sacrifice fly.
In the opening game, Vermilion fell 7-3 although the Ironmen’s pitchers gave up just two earned runs.
Ian Ritchie, Jacob Worley and Ryan Kling split time on the mound in the opener, and Graham Porter finished with two hits.
Peterson had a run-scoring triple.
VCC is keeping its fingers crossed for four more games at Brainerd this weekend as it is set to take part in the Central Lakes Classic for games against Central Lakes, Western Tech (Wisc.) and Ridgewater.
Doubleheaders on the artificial turf at Aurora follow Wednesday (vs. Itasca) and Friday (Mesabi) before division play starts the weekend of Apr. 15-16 with four games against defending champion Rainy River.