TAMPA — Alonso baseball coach Landy Faedo said his team's first goal this season is to win every district game on the schedule.
Even for the defending Class 6A state champs that's a tall task, given the fact the Ravens now reside in Hillsborough County's revamped super baseball district.
With Brandon, Plant, Bloomingdale and Wharton, there's no easy game on the district slate.
But on a bitterly cold Tuesday night more suited for postseason football than early-season baseball, Alonso beat new district rival Brandon 5-2 in a Class 5A-8 matchup.
A matchup between two of the county's top programs came down to one swing of the bat. Senior pitcher Thomas Dorminy's second homer of the season, a three-run shot, capped a four-run third for the Ravens. After losing the season opener to Sickles, Alonso has won five straight.
"It gives us a step on them," Dorminy said. "The top of their lineup is good, so you have to mix it up or they'll hurt you."
Dorminy also struck out six in five innings, allowing four hits and walking five and hitting two.
"I'm feeling strong, kind of wild," Dorminy said. "I'm not where I want to be, but I think in a couple more starts I can be where I want to be."
Brandon (5-1) had its chance to break through. The Eagles stranded 10 baserunners, including five in scoring position.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead on Adam Sass' two-out RBI single in the third. But Ravens third baseman Matt Brandy's sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the inning tied the game.
The next batter was Dorminy, who turned on a two-out first-pitch inside fastball the opposite way, hooking with the wind over the leftfield fence for a three-run homer off starter Chris Toney.
Dorminy is hitting .529 with 10 RBIs in 17 at-bats this year.
Brandon got its only other run with a bases-loaded walk in the fourth. The Eagles stranded the bases loaded that inning then brought the tying run to the plate twice in the seventh before Ravens junior sidearm reliever Chris Chism ended the threat.
"The key to me was that it seemed like every time they had an opportunity to lead off the inning they had a guy on base, whether it was a walk or a silly mistake by us," Brandon coach Matt Stallbaumer said. "We took a 1-0 lead and then we couldn't stop anybody.
"Hopefully when our guys get back to practice this game will remind them that they got beat down tonight."