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Flushing makes a statement in 14-4 win over Bryant

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The Flushing baseball team made a loud statement Tuesday afternoon about who rules the Queens North B division. And the Red Devils did so without ever uttering a word.

Instead, Flushing let their aluminum bats do the talking for them, scoring 14 runs on 14 hits, including three home runs, to defeat visiting Bryant, 14-4, in a mercy-rule shortened battle for first place at Levitt Field in Flushing.

“We talk with our bats,” said Flushing senior pitcher Jose Diaz. “We hit the ball, that’s how we talk.”

It was more like screaming the way the Red Devils, last year’s ‘B’ division runners-up, hit the ball against Bryant. Joan Abad perhaps made the biggest statement, and certainly the first, with a huge two-run blast over the fence in left field as Flushing (13-1 Queens North B) erased an early 3-1 deficit and took a 4-3 lead in the third inning.

“He struck me out the first time,” Abad said of Bryant starter Hendinson Baez. “I love the fastball and the first pitch was nice and high, it was right there. I just got it where I wanted it.”

“After that hit, we just got over hyped,” Diaz said of Abad’s fourth home run of the year. “Once someone hits a good shot, we really get hyped. That’s when the rally comes.”

Early in the game, it appeared Bryant (12-2 Queens North B) would be the only team talking, as they took advantage of a pair of Flushing errors in the top of the first inning to load the bases.

But Henry Chow was nailed trying to nab home on a double steal trying by Diaz, who fired home to catcher Rakeem Francis for the easy out. After Almir Pupovic walked to again load the bases, Danny Hagenlocher grounded the ball to third where Danny Dioguardi wisely threw home to get the force. Diaz then struck out Manny Silva and the Owls walked away with just one run to show for the rally.

Bryant again loaded the bases in the second inning, this time with two out, and Baez delivered a big two-run double to left field to put Bryant ahead, 3-0. But two more runners were stranded when Pupovic grounded out to first.

“We had opportunities early and we just didn’t swing the bats smartly,” said Bryant coach Howie Coval. “They hit the ball very well and played very smart baseball.”

All but one of Bryant’s hits came from the bottom six batters in the lineup. Those hitters were 1-for-13 with nine of Diaz’s 12 strikeouts.

Charlie Santos relieved Baez, who complained of a sore right elbow, in the fourth inning, but he didn’t fare much better. The Red Devils added two more runs in the fourth inning and another two in the fifth off Santos.

After Dioguardi’s two-run home run off the top of the left field fence and out, Coval brought in Henry Chao to pitch. Diaz gave him a rude welcoming, hammering his first pitch over the fence in left field to put Flushing ahead, 9-3 lead. The Red Devils sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth inning, scoring five runs on four hits.

“They knew the importance of the game, but traditionally we take a little while to get started,” Flushing co-coach Fernando Herrera said. “Once the nervousness wore off, they did what they had to do.”

Newtown 4-7, Aviation 1-4. Miguel Maria went the distance in a game rescheduled because of rain. Mario Arthur drove in the lone run for Aviation (3-15 Queens West A) Saturday morning at Newtown Athletic Field. Later Saturday, at Maurice Park, Allendi Peralta struck out 11 for Newtown (6-10 Queens West A) and Jose Hernandez was 2-for-4 with one RBI for the Flyers.

Richmond Hill 4, Thomas Edison 1. Chris Esposito was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and Anthony Villardi struck out eight, allowing just one unearned run in seven innings to pick up his first varsity win for second place Richmond Hill (9-9 Queens East A). Mike Rizzo was 2-for-4 and drove in the lone run for Edison (2-12 Queens East A).

Cardozo 8, Grover Cleveland 2. Pitcher Mike Lenzo went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and tossed three innings of one-hit ball, Jack Medic went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Cardozo (13-1 Queens East A). Bobby Manzolillo was 2-for-2 with a run scored for Cleveland (10-6 Queens West A).

Bayside 10, Aviation 8. Justin Hutt was 3-for-4 with five RBIs, including a three-run homer and a two-run triple and Michael Dynia was 3-for-3 with two runs scored for Bayside (13-12, 7-9 Queens East A). Edward Gonzalez was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, Andy Rodriguez was 4-for-4, including an RBI-triple and John Lorme was 2-for-3 with two runs scored for Aviation.

John Adams 7, John Bowne 0. Mark Rios and Kelvin Nunez combined to throw a two-hitter with nine strikeouts and Alex Cordero was 3-for-4 with two RBIs for Adams (16-0 Queens West A). Bowne is 8-10 in Queens East A.

Long Island City 10, Thomas Edison 6. Wilson Villada went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Luis Herrera was 2-for-2 with three runs scored for Long Island City (4-13 Queens West A). Dennis DeAcetis went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Hugo Santos was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Edison (2-12 Queens East A).

Bushwick 13, Francis Lewis 3. Estainly Fernando went 5-for-5 with three RBIs and Abraham Sosa was 4-for-5 with two RBIs for Bushwick (11-5 Queens West A). Francis Lewis (8-7 Queens East A) was led by John Tibay, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.

Forest Hills 21, Renaissance 5. Nison Aronov went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and Eudy Perez drove in four runs for Forest Hills (8-4 Queens North B). Renaissance is 0-13 in Queens North B.

August Martin 4, Townsend Harris 3. Brandon Plair struck out eight and went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Shawn Wilson was 1-for-2 with two runs scored for Martin (12-1 Queens South B). Calogero Argento was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored for Harris (8-4 Queens Central B).

Franklin K. Lane 9, Hillcrest 8. Chris Caamano was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored and Miguel McDonald was 3-for-4 with a run scored and one RBI for Lane (12-1 Queens Central B). Hillcrest is 6-7 in Queens South B.

Campus Magnet 7, Robert F. Kennedy 5. William Banton was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Edwin Garcia had two RBIs and two runs scored for Magnet (6-6 Queens South B). RFK drops to 6-8 in Queens Central B.

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

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