Baseball: Alonso jumps on Brandon early then cruises

BRANDON — Four days ago, Alonso beat Brandon in a pitcher's duel in the Saladino Tournament quarterfinals.

On Tuesday, the Ravens returned to Brandon's Don Powell Field with a chance to take first place in the Class 6A-8 standings — and Alonso wasted little time, displaying some early-inning offensive fireworks that paved the way for a 9-4 win.

Alonso (8-4, 4-2) hit two home runs over the leftfield fence — a first-inning two-run shot by Chris Mejia and a second-inning three-run bomb by Matt Brandy that gave the Ravens a quick 6-3 lead through two innings.

"They just squared up on some balls and they didn't hit them to the deepest part of the field," Alonso coach Landy Faedo said. "They got them a little bit down the line. We've got some guys with some good pop on the bat."

At least a dozen pro scouts armed with radar guns came to see Alonso right-hander Jose Fernandez, who was working on short rest after a six-inning, 11-strikeout, one-run performance in a 2-1 win over the Eagles on Friday. Fernandez (5-1) struck out eight in six-plus innings, but walked four and hit two batters to earn the win.

Brandy, hitting in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, was 3-for-5 with five RBIs, adding a double and two-run single to his home run. First baseman Chris Chism also had three hits and an RBI for the Ravens.

"We've been struggling with the bats," Brandy said. "So to put up nine runs, it feels good."

The Eagles (7-5, 3-2) had their chances, but they stranded four in scoring position through the middle innings, including leaving the bases loaded in the fourth.

"We found ourselves with situations to score, and we couldn't get that big hit with two outs to get us back in it," Brandon coach Matt Stallbaumer said. "We're all going to continue to beat each other up and we'll have to see how this thing lands.

"If there's one lesson I've learned from this district is it's not so much what you do in the beginning, it's what you do in the end."

Baseball: Alonso jumps on Brandon early then cruises 03/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:31am]

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