PHILADELPHIA – Though the 2009 season has come to an end for the Penn baseball squad, the honors continue to pile in.
This week, freshman shortstop Derek Vigoa was the recipient of two honors for his play in Penn’s final week of play. He was named the Ivy League’s Co-Rookie of the Week as well as Big Five Player of the Week.
Vigoa, who set a Penn freshman record for doubles in a season with 18, hit in all six of Penn’s games last week. He was a key part of two of the most historical comebacks in Penn baseball history.
On Wednesday, with Penn not only trailing, 10-0, entering the final inning, but also held hitless throughout the game, Vigoa stepped to the plate and belted a double to left that scored Penn’s first run of the game. Three batters later, he scored the second run when he was forced home by a Lehigh walk. Later in the inning, he came to the plate again looking to sacrifice over a runner with a bunt. Despite his selfless intent, he found himself on first base after an error. Two hitters later, he trotted home as part of Jeremy Maas’ game-winning three-run homer as Penn came all the way back for an 11-10 win. In game two against Lehigh, he was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
In the final Ivy series of the year, he was vitally important to Penn picking up its first series win of the year.
In the Big Apple against Columbia, Vigoa batted .500 (4-for-8) over the two games with two runs scored and two driven in.
On Sunday, at Meiklejohn Stadium, Vigoa saved his best performance for the final two games of the season.
In the opener, he was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored. His run in the fourth was the eventual game-winner in an 11-5 victory.
All of this pales in comparison to what he did in the final game of the season. He singled and scored in the first inning to give Penn an early 1-0 lead. That lead quickly evaporated and, similar to the game at Lehigh earlier in the week, Penn entered the late innings needing a miracle.
Crazily enough, Penn found strength for a second insane comeback in five days.
Trailing, 9-2, entering the bottom of the eighth, the Quakers pieced together a few runs off a solo homer, a double and three walks. Then, a pair of two-run singles tied the game.
With two outs, Vigoa stepped to the plate against Brian Valero, his old high school teammate. With the count full, Vigoa fouled a pitch off to stay alive. The next one he caught squarely and sent down the line in left. When the dust settled, three runs had scored, Vigoa was at second with a double and Penn had a 12-9 lead. For good measure, Vigoa scored one batter later and Penn went on to win, 15-9.
Vigoa ended his rookie season with a .336 average. Amazingly, he raised his average 41 points over the final week of the season after starting the week at .295. His 18 doubles were second on the team and are tied for third by any player in a single season in Penn history. 10 of his doubles came in Ivy games, tie for the ninth-most in an Ancient Eight season by any Ivy player. He had 16 multi-hit games, including a 4-for-5 day at Temple.
He is the third Penn player to be named Ivy Rookie of The Week this year. He joins pitchers Trey Jennings (Mar. 17) and Chris McNulty (Apr. 21) as freshmen to be honored. He is also the third Penn player to be named Big Five Player of the Week. Dan Williams (Mar. 9) and Jeremy Maas (Mar. 16) were honored by the coaches and sports information directors of the Philadelphia-area baseball schools this year.
The full Ivy League release can be found here.