"He was about to come out of the game," Dave Cohen, coach of first-place RFK, said of his struggling ninth grader.But what changed was actually Cohen's mind in what would eventually be an 8-2 win for his Panthers at Kissena Park.Altamirano made up for an error that le d to two Townsend Harris runs by making a diving stab to his left to snare a sizzling line drive that thwarted a Townsend Harris rally in the fourth inning. He then broke up Hawks pitcher Christo Guillou's no-hitter with an RBI-single two innings later. He later scored the tying run in the same inning to make the score 2-2.Guillou was dominant - and had not given up a hit - for the first five innings, but after Altamirano got the offense going, RFK (11-1 Queens North B) would score four more runs in the sixth to take a strong 6-2 lead against the defending PSAL 'B' champions."No, somebody actually told me that (before the sixth)," said Guillou, when asked if he knew about the potential no-hitter. "Once they told me that, it got into my head a little bit."After five, Guillou had 8 strikeouts, allowed only 1 walk, and had faced only one batter over the minimum. But a Joseph Floria 2-run single that scored Altamirano and Justin Scott was followed by a successful suicide squeeze by Oded Bahar and an run-scoring fielder's choice by Watson, ruining what had been a no-hit bid.And those runs, along with a pair tacked on in the seventh, were more than Panthers starter Robert Calabrese needed. The sophomore struggled early, giving up those two runs in the second, but was lights out after that. Calabrese struck out three of the next four batters after the runs scored and only allowed two more hits on the day."Pitching is all about composure," Calabrese said. "If you have composure you're going to do good out there. You have to keep up your confidence and everything from there (comes together)."The Robert F. Kennedy right-hander finished with a complete game 5-hitter and did not walk a single batter, but Townsend Harris coach Raymond Adamkiewicz said it was his hitters' lack of aggressiveness rather than a superior pitching performance by Calabrese that was the difference."He threw a smart ball," said Adamkiewicz, whose team fell to 7-4 in Queens North B. "(But) I think it was us not being aggressive at the plate, not producing any infield errors on their part, not attacking the curve balls and fast balls that we knew were coming."Calabrese, on the other hand, said he felt like he was in total control."If you think about it, just look at the score," Calabrese said. "They scored two lousy runs off me. I mean, look at them. Who has the better record?"Reach contributing writer Marc Raimondi by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2005 Community News Group
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