No matter the uniform, Waring hitting 'em out
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By Marc Katz

Staff Writer

Friday, September 07, 2007

DAYTON Grant Griesser, the Cincinnati Reds' assistant director of development, asked Brandon Waring earlier this summer how many homers he hit at Wofford College.

A bit shy, Waring mumbled, "Twenty-seven."

"That's 27 for your career?" Griesser said.

"No, 27 this year," mumbled Waring.

With the 20 he hit at rookie Billings, Mont., after being taken in the seventh round of the draft by the Reds, that gives Waring 47 for the season. At Billings, he hit his final nine in an eight-game stretch.

"I don't try to hit them," Waring said.

Although he hadn't hit one for the Dragons yet, entering Game 2 of the playoffs Thursday night against South Bend, Waring has had a hit in each of the two games he has played since being promoted from Billings. He had a hit in a pinch-hitting role in the regular-season finale on Monday, and a double as a DH on Wednesday.

He would have scored after that double, too, except he slipped rounding third on Carson Kainer's hit to right-center and was thrown out at the plate.

"It was like a beach over there, and I slipped and fell," Waring said.

Waring's regular position is third base, but with Juan Francisco, Waring will have to be content with a DH role for now.

Short on playing time

Jake Long was the regular catcher at Billings, hitting .275 when he joined the Dragons in mid-August for his second assignment with the team.

He hasn't been able to play much with Eddy Rodriguez as the everyday guy, but "I'm still working just as hard. You've got to prepare every day like you're going to play. Everyone wants to play, but you're still getting a call-up."

Long has batted only 23 times for the Dragons with four hits, a .174 average.

Boffo batting practice

An exceptionally robust batting practice DH and reserve infielder Jason Louwsma hit several out and reserve second baseman Billy Rojo clobbered one off the scoreboard didn't move Dragons manager Donnie Scott.

"The wind was blowing out," Scott said with a smirk. "I don't know, maybe they are excited (about the playoffs). I don't want them to get overly excited. I just want them to go out and play the game. This isn't going to be a cakewalk."