TAMPA — The FHSAA's best-of-three region final format is intended to reward only the most worthy teams with a trip to the state tournament.
And after its two-game sweep Friday at Melbourne, Alonso left no doubt it was deserving of a return trip to the east coast next week — this time to the Class 6A state semifinals in Port St. Lucie.
Junior Thomas Dorminy threw his first high school no-hitter in the opener, an 8-1 win, then sophomore Jose Fernandez a complete-game four-hitter, a 6-1 win.
Add four Alonso homers in the series, including one in each game by second baseman Tyler Ding, and it was the winning formula for the Ravens (27-3).
"They've been throwing well all year," Alonso coach Landy Faedo said. "We came out, and we swung the bats.
"We talked about getting it going early and putting the heat on."
In the school's eight years of existence, Faedo has built Alonso into one of the county's top baseball programs. But the best programs don't always make it to state.
This season, Alonso has dominated. Despite losing ace Ray Deplhey, it took the Saladino Tournament then won three rounds of the region tournament, all on the road.
It adds up to Alonso's second trip to state and first since 2004. The Ravens face Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley on May 22.
"We just haven't stopped," Faedo said. "We've just kept going and haven't stopped."
In the first game, Dorminy overcame early obstacles. Looking to establish the inside part of the plate to lefties, he hit the first two batters he faced (and four overall). But after allowing a first-inning run, he held the Bulldogs in check, striking out 13.
"A no-hitter, it gets the team excited," Dorminy said.
It was a boost Alonso carried into the second game. Fernandez allowed just one unearned run, struck out 10 and got homers from Dorminy, Ding and Matt Brandy.
"You never want to say it's over, but we definitely saw it in our sights," catcher Adam Pendleton said of the momentum going into Game 2. "Everyone came out and crushed the ball. It was a great day."