2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Paulsen takes it easy, launches a pair of home runs for Sky Sox

Published: May 24, 2013, 11:10 pm, by Brent Briggeman

If Ben Paulsen’s swing on a fourth-inning two-run home run looked particularly relaxed, well, it was by design.

Paulsen entered Friday’s game in a 1-for-16 slump when he was given a bit of advice from manager Glenallen Hill and teammate Tommy Manzella.

“They said, ‘Hey, you’ve got the juice in your bat. Just slow down and the ball will go out. You don’t have to do anything extra,’” Paulsen said. “When those guys tell you stuff, you listen. So I’ve been taking my time and kind of slowing down.”

The left-handed hitting first baseman connected again two at-bats later, hitting one even farther to virtually the same spot just to he left of center field. He drove in three runs and scored four times as the Sky Sox beat Fresno 13-8 in the first game of an eight-day homestand.

This recent stretch was the first rough patch in Triple-A for Paulsen, who spent two years in Double-A before opening this year buried on the roster behind corner infielders Nolan Arenado and Ryan Wheeler. He hit .396 in April despite sporadic opportunities before becoming a regular when first Wheeler and then Arenado was called up. Wheeler has since returned and has taken over third base while Paulsen has settled in at first. He was rolling along until last week, and Friday’s results indicate he may have corrected the problem.

Paulsen is now hitting .299 with five home runs and 26 RBIs in 34 games.