CLEARWATER — Gaither coach Frank Permuy said it was Brady North's best hit of the season.
With two outs in the top of the seventh inning, the Cowboys trailed Alonso 3-0. But as the top of the order came around to bat, Justin Delgado walked, Mike Danner singled, Drew Doty was hit by a pitch and with the bases loaded North walked to the plate.
"I said, 'just see the ball' and man he did," Permuy said.
North, the cleanup hitter, blasted a 325-foot drive over the rightfield fence for a grand slam home run, which put his teammates in front 4-3, and a short time later 5-3, the winning tally.
Still, the action wasn't over.
Alonso batted in the bottom of the seventh inning and it was the Ravens turns to load the bases, but a strikeout and flyout ended the game. The Cowboys (23-6) were 6A-7 district champions and celebrated as if they had won a World Series.
"This was a little redemption," North said. "(Tuesday) night we were praying Alonso would win because we wanted to get back at them."
When Gaither prepared to bat in the seventh inning, North said he never hesitated to get ready.
"I came in the dugout, put my batting gloves on and my batting helmet on, and I was ready to hit," North said.
The problem was, five people had to bat before North could step to the plate. As the rally began, and his turn got closer, North said he got calmer.
"I've been in that situation before," he said. "I lined out, so I had something to get off my shoulder. I was just getting myself ready."
Alex Milne got the win for the Cowboys. He came in with his teammates down 2-0 and tossed four innings in relief. Dylan Hathcock pitched the seventh inning for the save.
Jose Fernandez had a three-hitter through six innings for Alonso (24-3). Tyler Ding struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh, but didn't finish the inning.