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Tolentino’s blast leads Newtown to victory

He is known as “Smooth” for his slick defensive work at second base. But Edwin Tolentino’s nickname could also apply to his swing as the Newtown junior jacked a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to lead the Pioneers to a 6-3 win over Queens A-II rivals Long Island City Monday at Newtown.

“He’s probably our best hitter,” said first-year Newtown coach Neil Rosenblatt. “That was the crushing blow.”

Tolentino’s home run came at a crucial time for the Pioneers, who saw a 4-0 third inning lead vanish thanks to some shoddy defense in LIC’s three-run fourth inning.

With momentum swinging in the Bulldogs’ favor, Tolentino jumped on Luis Tavares’ 2-0 pitch and launched it to one of the deepest parts of the field, down the line in left. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Tolentino had an easy inside-the-park home run to give Newtown (7-6-1, 5-3) a 5-3 lead.

“The count was in my favor so I just zoned in on the pitch and hit it,” Tolentino said. “The momentum swung back in our favor, which was important. After that the defense stepped up.”

Newtown pitcher Allendi Peralta wasn’t perfect, but he kept the LIC hitters off-balance all game. He walked six and hit two batters, but he struck out nine and only allowed two hits — one in the infield — to earn the win.

“It was his second straight real good performance,” Rosenblatt said. “He also had 15 strikeouts in a 9-4 win over Bowne [on Apr. 24]. He’s really stepped it up.”

Added Tolentino: “He has real good stuff. He has a good curve ball and he’s smart. I’m proud of him, he came through and did a good job today.”

LIC (8-7, 6-5) had its chances in the final three innings, but each time the Bulldogs couldn’t get the big hit. With a runner at second and no out in the fifth inning, Jason Lopez popped out to second and Brian O’Lenick lined out to Tolentino at second, who tossed to shortstop Ray Gutierrez to catch Manuel Duran off second for the inning-ending double play.

With two out in the sixth inning, LIC got runners on first and second on a walk and a hit batsman, but Peralta fanned Tavares to end the inning. The Bulldogs got the tying run to the plate after two more walks, but Csaba Rojas was caught looking at strike three to end the game.

“That was a perfect example of what we did, you have to be aggressive,” LIC coach Harley Watstein said. “We have a lot of walks this year, but we need guys to step up and hit. I was hoping for a big hit there and we didn’t get it.”

Jamaica 12, Springfield Gardens 1. Alex Villamar had 19 strikeouts in seven innings and Aslyn Millington went 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs for Jamaica (8-1 Queens B-II).

Queens Vocational 5, Flushing 4. Luis Toribio went the distance for the Tigers, allowing five hits and fanning two. Issac Collado’s two-run double in the sixth inning put Queens Voc (7-4 Queens I) ahead for good. Flushing drops to 5-2.

Newtown 14, Bushwick 3. Ray Gutierrez went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBIs and Rene Valerio had a double, triple and three RBIs in the opening game of a non-league doubleheader Saturday.

Newtown 7, Bushwick 6. Gutierrez again led the way, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases for the Pioneers in the nightcap.

Forest Hills 5, Townsend Harris 4. Luca Parachieiou was the hero for the Rangers, belting a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Forest Hills (12-6-1, 8-0 Queens B-II) to a dramatic come-from-behind win Friday.

John Adams 12, Bushwick 1. Victor Santos led the way for Adams (22-4-1, 7-0-1 Queens A-I) going 3-for-3 with six RBIs.

Campus Magnet 6, Far Rockaway 4. Javier Sanchez and Gisgard Jean-Baptiste had two hits apiece for the Bulldogs (4-4 Queens B-I).

RFK 26, Queens Vocational 14. Chad Ramsoundard belted a three-run home run in the slugfest for RFK (7-6, 5-5 Queens B-I).

Cleveland 12, Bryant 8. Jose Abreu went 2-for-4 with a three-run dinger and four RBIs for the Indians (11-8, 6-4 Queens A-II).

Francis Lewis 15, Hillcrest 2. Mario Santiago scattered three hits in five innings for the Patriots (10-5, 5-3 Queens A-III).

Cardozo 12, Van Buren 1. Paul Kouba (3-for-4) and Landon Veissi (3-for-3) each hit home runs for the Judges (13-4, 7-2 Queens A-III).

Jamaica 3, August Martin 1. Miguel Ortiz struck out 12 and Aslyn Millington hit a two-run home run for the Beavers (8-3, 7-1 Queens B-II).

Aviation 14, Bryant 1. Joe Dalessio provided the offense with a three-run homer and Fadul Bambino did the rest, striking out 11 and allowing five hits in five innings for the Flyers (10-2, 5-2 Queens A-II).

Townsend Harris 10, Renaissance 0. Louis Elrose hit a home run and went 2-for-4 and Chris Gonzalez went 2-for-2 for Harris (4-3 Queens B-I).

Cleveland 4, Newtown 2. Ricky Perez had two runs scored and two stolen bases and Eddie Torres allowed one earned run on six hits for Cleveland.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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