BRANDON — When you're hitting the ball the way Alonso has been during this year's Saladino Tournament — with hits falling into the outfield gaps with regularity — there's little thinking at the plate.
"I'm just swinging," said hot-hitting Ravens second baseman Tyler Ding. "You just see the ball, hit the ball. We've just been seeing the ball really well."
For the Ravens, who have scored 53 runs in five tournament games, the latest offensive assault was Thursday's 9-4 semifinal win over a Plant team that hadn't allowed a run in its past three games.
"When you get into something like this, everybody, they taste it," Alonso coach Landy Faedo. "They know they have a chance. They keep stepping up. Usually these are close games and you have to gut them out."
With the win, the Ravens (18-2) can win their second Saladino title in three years — eight current Ravens were members of the 2007 championship team — in tonight's title game against district rival Gaither, a team Alonso has beaten twice this season.
Alonso racked up seven extra-base hits, including three doubles — and three RBIs — from Ding, who is hitting .625 in the tournament (10-for-16). Ravens designated hitter Thomas Dorminy hit his second homer in as many games, a solo shot in the first.
"We were really looking forward to playing Plant," Ding said. "It's always a good game. We lost to them last year and this was a little revenge, I think."
Ravens shortstop Tito Martinez scored two runs and hit a leadoff triple to open the game while leftfielder Matt Brandy was also 2-for-3 with an RBI double.
Sophomore right-hander Jose Fernandez, who struck out seven in six innings (including five strikeouts in his final six outs), held the Panthers (15-6) to five hits. Brandy struck out the side.