Baseball: Dan Vogelbach promoted to Daytona after Cougars defeat Cedar Rapids 4-3
BY MIKE KNAPP For Sun-Times Media August 12, 2013 10:44PM
COUGARS 4, CEDAR RAPIDS 3
Recap: The Cougars salvaged the final game of the three-game set when Rock Shoulders and Reggie Golden had RBI to rally the Cougars to two runs in the bottom of the ninth. First baseman Dan Vogelbach was promoted to High A Daytona after the game.
Records: Cougars 48-67 (18-31 second half); Cedar Rapids 72-46 (32-18)
Up next: Cougars (Starling Peralta 2-0) at Burlington (Pat Lowery 4-7), 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, WBIG-AM (1280),www.kccougars.com
Updated: August 13, 2013 9:47AM
The goal of every player in the minor leagues is to do enough to get moved up to the next rung on the ladder.
Dan Vogelbach had done all he could this season — and more — to warrant a promotion, and he got one shortly after Monday night’s 4-3 comeback win over Cedar Rapids. The 20-year-old first baseman, the Cubs’ second-round pick in 2011, is heading to High A Daytona to finish the season in the Florida State League.
Vogelbach finished his tenure in Kane County with a .282 average while sitting tied with Rock Shoulders in home runs (17) and leading the way with 71 RBI. He also proved durable as he had appeared in 114 of the team’s 115 games to date.
“It’s good any time you get to go up, and it’s even better to go up to a team that is competing for a playoff spot and get a chance to win a ring,” Vogelbach said. “I’ll do anything I can to help them out.”
Vogelbach will join fellow former Cougars Bijan Rademacher and Pierce Johnson in the mix with the Cubs, and joins a team that leads Lakeland by 3½ games in the North Division. He won’t be the only new player heading to Florida, as third baseman Kris Bryant, the Cubs first-round pick this year, will be bypassing Kane County and heading to Daytona as well.
In 18 games at short-season Boise, Bryant hit .354 with four homers and 16 RBI in 18 games.
“It’s a perfect time to go, he’s had some growing pains here and he’s done a lot of good things here,” Cougars manager Mark Johnson said. “They are in a playoff run and he can get some experience. They got a lot better (Monday), they have a good pitching staff and they catch the ball, and adding a little offense to it and who knows what will happen. But it makes for some pretty good ingredients.”
Vogelbach, a leader both on and off the field for the Cougars, gave credit to Johnson and hitting coach Tom Beyers, calling them part of “the best coaching staff I’ve had playing baseball.” While he is excited about moving on, he also leaves behind some good friendships, particularly with roommates Shoulders and Albert Almora.
“The wins and losses weren’t where we wanted them to be but I can tell you we had a lot of fun,” Vogelbach said. “We are close as a team and we played hard day in and day out. There are so many good things to come out of this season, (the coaches) helped me on and off the field.
“From the time I stepped on the field here at Kane County until now I’m a better player, but quite frankly, I’m also a better person.”
Cougars 4, Cedar Rapids 3: The Cougars sent Vogelbach off on a winning note as they scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to earn their first walk-off win since July 21 and gave them a 3-3 record on the six-game homestand.
After Jeimer Candelario led off the inning with a double, Shoulders tied the game at 3 when he singled to right to send Candelario home. After taking second on the throw to the plate, Shoulders was replaced by Jose Dore, who after moving to third came home with the game-winner on a Reggie Golden sacrifice fly to center.
“For Candy to come through leading off that inning and then Rock (getting the game-tying hit), that’s just clutch,” Johnson said. “(Golden) shortened up and just tried to play pepper, and hit a nice sac fly to win the game.”
After an off-day Tuesday, the Cougars head to Burlington for three contests, with Starling Peralta (2-0) taking the mound in Wednesday’s game.