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Saturday, July 6, 2013
PULASKI - Kristian Brito, an 18-year-old Pulaski Mariners first baseman from Puerto Rico, lists at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds. Maybe somebody ought to check the scales and tape measure that produced those numbers.
Brito is so big that if he didn't play at night, he could blot out the sun from the daytime sky.
Regardless of his roster measurements, Brito had an outsized Saturday evening at the plate as the home team was decking the Danville Braves 5-1 before 786 Calfee Park patrons. Brito had his first 4-for-4 game as a pro as the Mariners (7-7) salvaged the last of a three-game series to avert a Danville (5-9) sweep and stop a three-game skid.
"Before, I had my hands too close to my body in my stance," Brito said with translation assistance from pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera. "I moved my hands higher and farther from my body."
That was good for three doubles and a single to add to Pulaski's 12-hit attack.
"He's a young hitter who has to learn to stay in the middle of the field," Pulaski manager Chris Prieto said. "He can work his swing that way and react to pitches. Tonight, he did a good job of getting locked in early to center and the next one to right. That allowed him to feel comfortable and allow pitches to get deep."
LIGHTS OUT: Three Pulaski pitchers limited the Braves to two hits, the second being Connor Lien's leadoff bomb in the sixth, the last inning for starter Jose Flores. The Venezuelan right-hander struck out six and walked one.
In all, Flores and successors Wander Marte and Emilio Pagan struck out 12, five by Pagan in two innings for his third save. Right-hander Pagan signed after being drafted in the 10th round this year.
"He definitely wants the baseball when the game's on the line," Prieto said. "He has that mentality to come in late."
NEW GUY: Tyler Smith had his first RBI and second pro hit with a seventh inning bloop hit.
The Seattle Mariners eighth-round draft choice out of Oregon State in last month's amateur draft, Smith didn't sign until June 23 in part because the Beavers were a final four team at the College World Series. He was assigned immediately to Pulaski and granted a couple of days off to gather his thoughts.
He reported to the Appalachian League July 1. Since he's gone 1-for-7 in two games. He had his third start Saturday against the Danville Braves. Counting two rain washouts after being assigned, the time between his last college at bat in a 4-1 elimination game against eventual national runner-up Mississippi State and his first pro plate appearance against the Danville Braves July 4 was 13 days.
No adjustment period, no problem, the Thousand Oaks, Calif., shortstop said.
"A lot of it's the same," he said. "The Pac-12 is a pretty good conference, pretty good pitching. It's still a change. A lot of guys are throwing hard. You have to put together good at bats like you always do."
As a senior at Oregon State, he hit .308 with 69 hits, 14 for extra bases while starting 53 of 56 games.
"I like what I've seen so far," Prieto said. "He has a good athletic body. We've just got to see him play now. He has got all the necessary talent and tools needed to become a Major League baseball player."
Smith replaced former University of Virginia infielder Keith Werman, who was promoted to Clinton on June 29 after hitting .118 in five games at Pulaski.
MARINERS MINUTIA: Leadoff man Ian Miller went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Third baseman Joseph DeCarlo, rated the No. 14 prospect in the organization, also had a couple of hits. Nobody had more than one RBI for Pulaski. Wilton Martinez's leadoff second inning homer was his third of the year. Pulaski will be in Princeton for three starting tonight. That will be the first time this year play-by-play broadcaster Cheyne Reiter will broadcast from the road. Catch it on the link at pulaskimariners.com.
Danville 000 001 000 - 1 2 2
Pulaski 020 000 12x - 5 12 0
Dettmann, Merejo (4), Wright (7), Dill (8) and DeLaRosa. Flores, Marte (7), Pagan (8) and Diaz. W - Flores. L - Dettmann. S - Pagan. HR - Martinez (P), 2nd, one on; Lien (D), 6th, none on.
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