Gateway High continued its remarkable baseball revival yesterday.
Senior righthander Nick Alloway threw six dominating innings and centerfielder Tim Zindel - the No. 9 hitter in the Gators' lineup - delivered a two-run single as Gateway beat host Haddonfield, 3-1, in an NJSIAA South Jersey Group 2 playoff opener.
The 10th-seeded Gators (12-8), who started the season 1-7, have won 11 of their last 12 games and are one of South Jersey's hottest teams. They will play at second-seeded Delran in Friday's quarterfinals.
"In the beginning of the year, everyone was getting down, but now we have a lot of confidence, and we're fired up and ready to go," said Alloway, who allowed only one hit while striking out 11 and walking eight in six innings.
"A lot of guys are stepping up," Zindel said.
Alloway added a slider to his repertoire yesterday; he also threw an effective two-seam fastball - a pitch he has been tinkering with late in the season - and he kept seventh-seeded Haddonfield (12-9) off-balance.
Haddonfield had defeated Gateway, 5-0, on April 2, a regular-season game in which winning pitcher Luke Peyton threw a two-hitter.
Gateway collected eight hits off Peyton yesterday.
"The bottom of the order really came through," said Alloway.
Especially Zindel, who lined a two-run single to deep left to give Gateway a 3-0 lead in the fourth. Zindel took a .139 average into the game.
With Gateway holding a 3-1 lead, Nick Alloway (5-4) was relieved by lefthander Justin Brandon at the start of the seventh. Alloway had thrown 115 pitches.
Brandon got into a jam with a walk and a hit batter, but he ended up striking out the side and sending Gateway into the quarterfinals at Delran, a team it faced in last season's tournament.
Gateway 001 200 0 - 3 8 1
Haddonfield 000 100 0 - 1 1 1
WP: Nick Alloway. LP: Luke Peyton. 2B: G-Sam Frank.