Postseason awards continue piling up for Whittell’s Vogt
June 8, 2011
By Douglas Etten
ZEPHYR COVE – Very seldom is the efforts of one recognized over the success of a team, but in the case of Whittell senior Alex Vogt, his left arm and sure-swing were what carried the Warriors into the 2A State baseball finals for the third consecutive season.
That double-sided ability was recognized once again this week as a compilation of 2A and 1A coaches selected Vogt as a first-team member in their media poll conducted by the Reno Gazette Journal.
“I think Alex had a certain determination about him this year to prove, not just to himself, but to the rest of the league, that he was the best player,” Whittell head coach Starbuck Teevan said. “He did a lot of work on his side, outside of practice and in his own time. Very deserving of this award.”
The RGJ takes submissions from a collection of coaches who plug names of players inside the 4A, 3A and combined 2A and 1A leagues. From that, they compile a MVP, first team and second team All-State before making their own pick on who they feel is the player of the year inside each division.
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Vogt didn’t make the coaches pick as player of the year, but the Reno Gazette Journal felt that the soon-to-be Chico State hurler stood out above the rest.
“It was great when I got the call,” Teevan, said. “He was the biggest part of our success this season. From mid-season on he pretty much carried the team on his back. Both at the plate and on the mound.”
His .436 batting average speaks volume for the type of season Vogt had at the plate. Add to that his .504 on base percentage, the fact he slugged .650, knocked in 52 runs, scored 43 of his own and also stole 16 bases and the proof is in the pudding.
“He was really determined and it was good to see it play out the way it did,” Teevan said. “Hard work pays off and Alex was a perfect example of that this year especially.”
Alex Potnick won the award from the Gazette last season. Before then, Brandon Lee was the last Whittell player to be elected by the media as player of the year. He earned the honor back in the early 2000’s.
Vogt along with teammates Potnick and Julian Washelefsky each earned All-State honors this season. Potnick joined Vogt on the first team while Washelefsky was on the second team and catcher Matt Elliot was selected honorable mention.
Vogt talks about season, future and awards
Pitching has always been a focal point for Vogt.
Through his high school career, being left-handed and powerful allowed him to do a lot of things that high school and college coaches alike, wanted to see out of a starting pitcher.
But Vogt wanted to be looked at as more than just a pitcher.
After not having the best of offensive seasons his junior year, working hard at the plate was the overall goal of his off-season plan. Even he was quick to say he was pleased with the results.
“I had worked a lot in the off-season, and not just in pitching,” he said. “I really struggled at the play my junior year, and think that the awards came because of what I did at the plate, not on the mound pitching.”
Battling arm troubles at the start of 2011, pain and unlike Vogt results got the senior to the point of feeling like he really needed to focus on hitting. The pitching came back to fruition as it did his junior season, and his hitting followed suit.
“My arm really was hurting pretty well at the start of the year, but I soon got to the point where I was at near the end of my junior year where I was feeling good again. Then things just started to come together.
“I think with the new league, going into the season we had a lot of pressure on us as a team. After we lost a couple of games early, games we probable should have won, it made us and myself try harder at that end because we had so many close games.”
Though inevitably it was Yerington who got between Vogt, Whittell and their State championship goals, it was understood that success was measured in something more than a championship plaque.
“Overall, we did what we thought we were supposed to do. Yerington is a good team with a lot of depth at the plate. We couldn’t just pitch around them. We played so many games in a short period of time at zones and then State, that when it was over it was really sort of hard to believe.”
Vogt will try out with the Chico State baseball program this weekend where he has already been accepted into school for the fall semester.
“Chico is my first choice, just because I always wanted to play baseball in college since I was young and I really like the town, area and who setup of the university.
“Depending on my tryout, if they decide to give me a spot or not, I’ll just workout with different coaches through the summer, throw bull pens once or twice a week, do some long toss and keep in shape.”