PORT ST. LUCIE — Thomas Dorminy III threw the biggest game of his high school career without his biggest fan in the stands.
The junior left-hander has been Alonso's big-game pitcher, anointed to the No. 1 role when the Ravens ace went down with a season-ending injury halfway through the season.
But Dorminy had never taken the mound in a game like Friday afternoon's — with a chance to take Alonso to the first state title game in school history, at Tradition Field, on the same mound New York Mets pitchers threw from two months ago, with unforgiving clouds giving way to intermittent downpours.
But Dorminy has proven cool under pressure. He's able to put on blinders and block out distractions. And Dorminy did just that, guiding the Ravens to a 1-0 win over Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley with a three-hit, complete-game shutout in the Class 6A state semifinal.
"He's been consistent all year long," Alonso shortstop Tito Martinez said. "If there's anyone I want on the mound, it's Thomas."
Meanwhile, his father, Thomas Dorminy Jr., was in the hospital across the state in Tampa, following his son online. He had just been put on a heart transplant list, and if one more test goes well, he should get a new heart in the next six months. He said the doctors were trying to get him out in time, but vowed to get to Alonso's title game tonight at 7.
Dorminy battled raindrops and his control Friday afternoon, often going deep into counts, but he overpowered the Class 6A defending champion Patriots (28-4) with 10 strikeouts.
"We knew about him, we had plenty of scouting information on him," longtime Lake Brantley coach Mike Smith said. "That young man just did a terrific job on the hill out there. He kept us off balance."
After stranding runners at first and second in the sixth, he stranded a runner at second with no outs in the seventh, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
"I felt good," Dorminy said. "(The rain) really wasn't bothering me much, expect when it started picking up a bit. It stayed pretty calm when I was out here. Most time I didn't have the bad part of it. The other kid did, so I just kept pitching."
The Ravens (29-3) managed just two hits in the entire game, with just one heading into the sixth inning. But that one hit, a two-out triple by senior catcher Adam Pendleton that rolled to the right-centerfield wall, led to the game's only run.
"I stumbled a bit, but I kept saying to myself, 'Keep going, keep going,' " Pendleton said. "That put us in a great spot."
Pinch runner Ed Williams scored on the next at-bat when Joe Lorenzo hit — a grounder to second — but an errant throw to first sailed past the pitcher, who was covering the bag.
"You just grind it out," Alonso coach Landy Faedo said, "and if someone makes a mistake you take advantage of it, which we did."
Now Alonso could win the first Hillsborough County state baseball title since Tampa Catholic in 2001, one year before Alonso was opened. The Ravens had been to state one time before, in 2004, but lost in the semis.
"It means a lot to this program and these kids and myself," Faedo said.
Pendleton chose fewer words to describe it.
"Awesome," he said.