AquaSox belted by Boise's big man
Indeed, he looks more like he just stepped off the set of Saturday Night Live, given his uncanny resemblance to the late comedian Chris Farley, both in face and in body.
But appearance is irrelevant once one steps between the foul lines, and there's nothing funny about Vogelbach's ability to hit.
Vogelbach continued his assault on the Everett AquaSox's pitching staff, slugging two more home runs to lead the Boise Hawks to a 3-2 victory over the Sox on Thursday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The long balls gave Vogelbach, who stands a portly 6-foot and 250 pounds and was the Chicago Cubs' second-round pick in the 2011 draft, four homers in three games against Everett. He's also homered in each of his past five games.
Vogelbach's efforts were the main reason why Boise (11-5 second half, 24-30 overall) won Thursday despite being outhit 10-4. He's also played a big role in the Hawks winning three of the first four games of the five-game series.
"I just got here two weeks ago and all the talk was about how Everett was the team, that they pretty much dominated everybody through the first half," Vogelbach said. "We struggled in the first half, and to come in here and win a series against a team like Everett is really big. It gives us a lot of confidence, shows we can play with anybody, and hopefully we can keep it rolling through the second half."
Marcus Littlewood, Mike Zunino and Janelfry Zorrilla each went 2-for-4 for Everett, which continues to languish in last place in the Northwest League's West Division standings. The Sox are 6-10 in the second half after going a blistering 28-10 in winning the first half.
Everett starting pitcher Steven Ewing, coming off two rough outings, was phenomenal against everyone in Boise's lineup not named Vogelbach. The left-hander, who lasted just 32/3 innings in his previous two starts combined, allowed one hit over six innings and struck out seven against the other eight batters in the Hawks' lineup. But Vogelbach slugged both his homers off Ewing, including a mammoth shot in the seventh that tied the score 2-2 and ended Ewing's night.
"I was really proud of him," Everett manager Rob Mummau said of Ewing's bounce-back performance. "He went out there and competed really well. He threw a bunch of strikes and was around the zone. He looked good.
"Unfortunately, (Vogelbach) got us the last couple nights," Mummau added. "Vogelbach's a really good hitter, you have to tip your hat to him. He got a couple fastballs and drove them out of the stadium. That's what he's paid to do."
Relievers Matt Iannazzo and Tyler Bremer tossed four scoreless innings to make Boise's lead hold up. Iannazzo earned the win to improve to 1-1, while Bremer picked up his first save.
Everett twice took the lead, only for Vogelbach solo shots to tie it.
The Sox opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, Zunino hitting a long single off the top of the wall in left-center to score Littlewood from second. Then after Vogelbach hit his first homer in the second, Everett regained the lead in the third courtesy of Alfredo Morales' RBI single.
After Vogelbach tied it again in the seventh, the Hawks went ahead in the eighth. Izaac Garsez led off the inning with an Everett Memorial Stadium triple -- a high fly ball that would have been a routine out in any other park, but hit off the short wall in right center. He scored on Gioskar Amaya's sacrifice fly for what proved to be the winning run.
Seattle Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez was with the Sox during pregame preparations Thursday. Gutierrez, who's recovering from a concussion suffered when he was hit by an errant pickoff attempt on June 29, took batting practice Thursday and is scheduled to take BP with the club again today. ... Also currently with the Sox is former Mariners great Alvin Davis. Davis, was hired by the Mariners as a roving minor-league instructor two weeks ago. ... Everett first baseman Taylor Ard extended his hitting streak to 15 games with an infield single in the eighth Thursday.
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