OAKLAND, Calif. -- Exactly six months to the day he was acquired by the Oakland Athletics, former Azusa Pacific catcher Stephen Vogt delivered a dramatic game-winning single that lifted the A’s to a thrilling 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers in Game Two of the American League Division Series Saturday night.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth, Vogt lined a 1-1 pitch from Rick Porcello into left-center field, scoring Yoenis Cespedes from third and sending Oakland’s O.co Coliseum crowd of 48,292 into a frenzied celebration.
His clutch hit came two innings after he had taken Tigers starter Justin Verlander deep into a 10-pitch at-bat with runners at second and third in the bottom of the seventh inning. In that plate appearance, Vogt fouled off seven of the 10 pitches he faced, including four fastballs that all measured either 96 or 97 mph, before going down swinging on a 98-mph fastball from Verlander. Although it was Verlander’s 11th strikeout through seven innings, it had run his pitch count up to 117 pitches, and the Tigers had to go to the bullpen in the eighth inning.
Vogt, who batted .252 in 47 games with Oakland this year, is the only player from Azusa Pacific to start in a Major League Baseball playoff game, and he has played all 18 innings of the ALDS so far. He will likely start again behind the plate when the best-of-five series resumes in Detroit Monday afternoon at 1 p.m. Eastern time.
Earlier this summer, Vogt reflected on the highlights of his career, specifically his 2007 senior year, for an article on Azusa Pacific’s athletics website which named the 2007 Cougar baseball team as one of the top 13 teams in Cougar Athletics history.
Among the highlights of that season included what Vogt described as “the best week of my life,” when he proposed to his wife Alyssa the night before starting a two-game series against conference rival Concordia – a series which saw him hit his first career grand slam in the opening game before hitting a walk-off solo home run in extra innings the next day.
Click the links below for a roundup of national media coverage on Stephen Vogt following his Saturday heroics:
MLB.com (VIDEO): Vogt’s walk-off single
MLB.com (VIDEO): A’s on their 1-0 walk-off win (post-game press conference)
MLB.com (VIDEO): Melvin on Vogt’s walk-off
MLB.com (by Jane Lee & Bobby Nightengale): Day after walk-off hit, Vogt remains on Cloud 9
MLB.com (by Jane Lee): Vogt of confidence: Walk-off A's even ALDS
MLB.com (by Jeff Kirshman): Elated Vogt an unlikely hero in Game 2
ESPN.com (by Jim Caple): And the A's hero is … Stephen Vogt?
Yahoo! Sports (by Tim Brown): Led by a kid pitcher and a budget catcher, A's take unlikely Game 2 win over Tigers
SFGate.com (by Susan Slusser): A's Vogt had long journey to success