AURORA -- Vermilion picked up a victory in seemingly historical fashion Tuesday in their 19-9, five-inning win over visiting Itasca.
The Ironmen scored 18 times in the third inning -- all with two outs -- as 18 consecutive batters reached base in the remarkable inning.
Head coach Tom Coombe hasn’t seen such an occurrence in 30-plus years of coaching. After the game he told his players they probably won’t see it in the next 20, 30 or 40 years of playing and watching baseball.
Terren Sugita capped off the big inning with a grand slam, which was his fifth home run of the season. Sugita, who hails from Anchorage, Alaska, leads the state with 22 RBI, according to Coombe.
Jakob Wiirre took advantage of his chances in the third inning as he collected two hits and scored twice. Wiirre is second in the state in RBIs with 20. Cameron Peterson smacked a three-run homer, while Caden Schilinger connected for a two-run double and a two-run single, all in the third. Jonathan Leon, Sugita and Peterson all had two hits in the inning. Nils DeRemee of Ely also scored twice.
“Our top of the order has really been swinging the bat well the last couple of weeks,’’ Coombe said.
The head coach added he has seen big innings over the years in Legion ball and at other levels, but never 18 and never everything with two outs on the board.
Besides the hot hitting, Itasca made a couple of errors and issued a couple of walks in the inning.
“It just snowballed.’’
Steven Peterson from Bemidji got the pitching win after fanning seven and allowing eight hits.
In the doubleheader opener, Itasca knocked off Vermilion, 13-6.
Sugita still had a stellar effort in that one with two hits (including a two-run homer). Graham Porter also added a pair of hits.
The year has been a good one for Sugita, Coombe said.
“He’s been swinging a hot bat. He’s really warmed up the last couple of weeks.’’
Vermilion (10-6) plays at Hibbing Saturday.