TAMPA — Alonso coach Landy Faedo had seen this before.
In fact, Faedo had seen it just a few days before: an early Alonso lead heading toward an apparent win that turns into a surrendered lead and a tough loss.
But not this time.
Tyler Ding sliced a base hit to leftfield to score Matt Brandy to lift Alonso to a 5-4 win over Class 6A, District 7 foe Countryside in eight innings. The win comes just days after the Ravens (11-1) gave up a late lead for their lone loss this season to Mitchell.
The Ravens' win, combined with Mitchell's 3-2 loss to Plant City on Friday, also ensured Alonso the top seed in the upcoming district tournament.
That accomplishment, along with how his team managed to rally and win, was not lost on Faedo.
"We talked about how we'd react from the Mitchell game," he said. "Last time we got behind and didn't come back. Tonight we did. We stuck in there."
The Ravens were dominant early on behind the strength of Thomas Dorminy's pitching. He pitched five innings, striking out eight while giving up just two hits and zero runs. A high pitch count sent him out of the game with a 3-0 lead.
The Cougars (7-8) scored a run in the sixth and took the lead in the seventh when Dan Torres smacked a three-run home run.
But the Ravens tied the score in the bottom of the seventh and won it an inning later on Ding's big hit. Ding also earned the win after being inserted on the mound late in the contest.
Tito Martinez had two singles and a double, and Adam Pendleton had two hits for the Ravens and Dorminy scored twice
"Every game has been a different type situation for us," said Faedo. "Then these last two games, our pitching has been good and then we fall behind. Countryside is a tough team, they've been playing well.
"We were just able to come back."
Spring Fling: 31 Ks can't cement victory
East Bay pitcher Kayla Cox struck out 31 batters in 13 innings, but was the tough-luck loser in a 1-0 setback to Brandon in the Indians' opening game of the Spring Fling softball tournament Friday at Riverview.
Cox, a N.C. State recruit, allowed just three hits and the Eagles went through the lineup one time before they put a ball in play. Cox is 8-6, but in another loss, a 12-inning game vs. Bloomingdale, she struck out 21.
On the season, Cox has 198 strikeouts in 106 innings.
"We can go a long way with Kayla, but we need to get some hits for her," East Bay coach Glenn Rodriguez said.
East Bay (11-8) can still earn the district tournament's No. 1 seed with a win over second-place Plant City on Tuesday.