Sobrero, Thacker Guide Paradise Padres to TOC Title

Paradise Little League
By Jeff Larson
Posted: 06/13/2014 03:46:43 PM PDT

Biggs >> Bradley Sobrero and Cooper Thacker are two of the longest-tenured Little League players under manager Brad Sobrero.

“They started out at 8-years-old,” Brad Sobrero said.

Four years later, Bradley Sobrero and Cooper Thacker guided the Paradise Little League major division Padres to a 9-7 win over Chico Central in the Tournament of Champions final Thursday night at Biggs/Richvale Little League.

“It’s awesome for these kids, especially the 12-year-olds,” Brad Sobrero, Paradise’s manager, said. “Bradley (and) Cooper have been here five times and we finally got this banner.”

Bradley Sobrero, the cousin of Paradise High product and North Dakota State center fielder Alex Sobrero, played a central role in the victory over the Dodgers (3-1). He scored the first run of the game with a solo home run to right-center field to put the Padres (4-0) in front, 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Sobrero then closed out the victory when he relieved starter Colby Cline in the fifth. His two-inning stint on the mound, however, was filled with drama, after Chico Central scored five runs off Sobrero and even brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the top half of the sixth inning.

“I said, ‘Do you want me to pull you?'” Brad Sobrero said. “He said, ‘No, I got this.'”

He did indeed, starting in the fifth when he struck out leadoff hitter Juan Nava with two runners on base and Paradise clinging to a 9-6 lead. Sobrero did it again in another pressure-filled situation in the sixth. Chico kicked off the inning with a one-out double from Caden Hill. The ensuing hitter, Henry Brown plated Hill with a single up the middle, trimming the deficit to 9-7.

Chase Wilson later singled off Sobrero to set up Alex Auspaugh as the go-ahead run with two outs.

But Brad Sobrero stayed with his son with the utmost confidence that he could get the final out.

Bradley finally did when he got Auspaugh to swing through his pitch and end the game via a strikeout.

“Whenever he says he’s got it I know he’ll do it,” Brad Sobrero said. “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him struggle, but he said he had it, so I let him stay.”

Sobrero’s main partner during this run, Cooper Thacker provided key support to the right-hander with a solo blast in the third, followed by several putouts at shortstop.

Chico Central’s first scoring opportunity came in the third when Nava and Cody Morris led off with a single and walk, respectively. Thacker forced out Nava at third on a sharp grounder off the bat of Hill for the first out.

The next hitter, Brown also hit one to Thacker, which he nearly turned into an inning-ending double play. The throw, however, sailed wide of first base, allowing Morris to score the first of two runs in the inning and cut the deficit to 3-1. Paradise answered with a game-high five runs in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run double to right by David Baron, scoring the fourth and fifth runs of the frame.

Chico answered with its biggest output in the fifth, before Sobrero turned out the lights in the sixth and sent his team and manager to the winner’s circle for the first time.

Paradise’s Tanner Smith and Cody Palade earned the team’s Respect the Game awards following the ceremony. Landon Hill and Nava were co-Respect the Game winners for Chico.

Paradise Minors Advance to TOC Final

By Jeff Larson
Posted: 06/13/2014 03:42:46 PM PDT

The third Paradise Little League team to make the final game of the Tournament of Champions was the minor, 9-10-year-old baseball team.

The PLL minors (3-0) played fellow 3-0 Chico Eastside Friday night in Orland. For results, see www.paradisepost.com next week.

Paradise got to the final with a 5-4 win over Chico Central on Wednesday. Central finished TOCs at 2-1. In the early rounds, Paradise shut out Oroville, 10-0 and romped Gridley, 12-2.

After the TOC final, Paradise takes a two-week break before it returns for District 47 all-star play June 29 in the pool B bracket at the Chick Elk’s Lodge. The PLL 9-10-year-olds open up against the winner of Palermo and Eastside Blue at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, June 29.

On Saturday, the Paradise 10-11-year-old all-star team gets set for its opener against Chico Central at 9:30 a.m. Saturday June 28 at Chico Eastside. The winner plays Durham Sunday.

The Paradise 11-12-year-olds play all-stars in Gridley, beginning Saturday June 28. First pitch is set for 10 a.m. against Chico Eastside.

The 13-14-year-old all-stars travel to Lake Oroville where they’ll open up against Willows on June 28

Major Softball Begins June 26

Little League softball all-stars begin for Paradise a week from Thursday when host PLL opens up District 47 play against Chico at 5:30 p.m. at Egleson Field on Buschmann Road in Paradise.

The minors wait till Sunday, June 29 when they will play Biggs/Richvale at 9 a.m. in Orland.

Junior softball will not field an all-star team this year, according to Paradise Vandals manager Shane Earhart.

The rosters will be released at a later date.

Paradise Softball Majors Fall Short to Willows Bombers in Extra Innings, 10-7

Willows claims TOC major division softball championship

By Jeff Larson – Sports Editor
Posted: 06/14/2013 01:43:12 AM PDT

ORLAND – In its quest for its first Tournament of Champions softball banner as one league, the Paradise Little League major division Tigers gave it almost everything it had.

That meant rallying from three runs down in the bottom half of the sixth inning to tie Willows and force extra innings in the TOC championship under the lights Thursday night at Orland’s Vinsonhaler Park, which borders Orland High.

Ultimately, the Willows NorCal Bombers, behind opportunistic hitting and the iron-clad arm of starting pitcher Taylor Culp, re-took the lead in the top of the seventh and held on for a 10-7 win over Paradise, securing a championship and 4-0 record in the TOC tournament.

Paradise manager Shane Earhart remained proud of his team for never quitting and giving a standing-room only crowd some free softball Thursday night.

“They’ve done it all year,” Earhart said. “The game against Durham they came back and won that in the last inning, and this game they tied it up to (force) extra innings.”

The bottom of the sixth began with Jenna Sobrero, the younger sister of Paradise High product and North Dakota State center fielder Alex Sobrero, earning a lead-off walk from Culp. Jenna Sobrero then did her best impersonation of her older sister, who was a speed machine during her time at Paradise, by motoring around the bases before eventually getting knocked home by the first of two hits from clean-up hitter Carli Wright to bring Willows’ lead down to 5-3. Wright helped cut the deficit to one at 5-4, when she came home on an error by the Willows infielder.

The next hitter, Kayli Palade popped out to Culp for the second out. That wasn’t the end of Paradise (2-1), as Cristina Milkovich, who singled in her at-bat, escaped a rundown between first and second base to advance into scoring position. The six-hitter, Milkovich then managed to safely take third and home on wild pitches from Culp to tie the game at five.

“At the end you got to take chances,” Earhart said.

Paradise even got the potential winning run aboard, when Victoria Chapman reached on Culp’s second walk of the inning. However, Mary Dove bounced back to the circle for the third out.

In the top of the seventh, Willows fought back, beginning with two-hitter Aliyah Stevenson reaching on an infield single. She proceeded to steal second and later scored on the first of three hits by Willows for a 6-5 lead.

It turns out the Bombers, who blew out Palermo, 20-0 in the semifinals on Wednesday, were just getting started. Hanna Parisio reached on an error by the second baseman and later scored on a RBI single from Culp.

Willows would add three more runs to give Culp plenty of insurance heading to the bottom of the seventh.

She would need it, as Paradise plated a pair, capped by perhaps the biggest hit of the game, when Wright smacked a drive to the left-center fence, scoring Kayla Earhart and cutting the deficit to 10-7.

However, the aggression that Shane Earhart said helped Paradise get back in the game would bury the Tigers in the end, as Kayla was tagged out by Culp at home plate for the third and final out on a throw from the backstop by catcher Meghan Weinrich.

Not long after Culp secured the tag on Kayla Earhart did Willows erupt in celebration as the 2013 TOC major, 11-12-year champions.

Willows manager James Stevenson said Culp in many ways was the game’s hero.

“She is amazing, I can’t say enough about (Culp),” he said. “She throws hard, she throws accurate and she can throw forever.”

Stevenson said even though Culp gave up the lead in the bottom of the sixth, he had no intention of taking her out of the ballgame.

“I was already counting down how many innings she had left – she could throw four more and I would have thrown her all four,” Stevenson said.

Willows and Paradise return to action, along with a host of other areas from around the North State next weekend for the District 47 all-star tournament.

Willows 10, Paradise 7 (7 inn.)

Willows 104 000 5 ‹ 10 12 2
Paradise 101 003 2 ‹ 7 5 2

Culp and Weinrich (7); Earhart, Griffith (4) and Griffith.
Top hitters, W, Stevenson 2×3, 2 runs; Parisio 2×3, 2 runs; Ramsey 2×4, 3 rbis; P, Griffith 2×3; Wright 2×4, 2b, 2 rbis

Paradise LL Majors to Face Willows in TOC Softball Final

Game set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Orland

By Staff reports
Posted: 06/12/2013 06:17:45 PM PDT

A first-ever Tournament of Champions banner remains alive for Paradise Little League, after the major, 11-12-year-old softball team held off Durham, 8-7 in the TOC semifinals Wednesday night at Orland’s Vinsonhaler Park.

Paradise (2-0) will square off against Willows (3-0) – a 20-0 winner over Palermo in the other semifinal – for the major division TOC softball championship at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Vinsonhaler Park.

PLL’s baseball teams and junior division softball squad all fell short of the semifinal round in their respective brackets this year.

TOC Update: Paradise Majors Lone Team Left

By Staff reports
Posted: 06/11/2013 03:32:49 PM PDT

As of Tuesday afternoon, Paradise Little League had just one team remaining in the week-plus-long Tournament of Champions. Of course, that could have changed today, if the Paradise major, 11-12-year-old softball team fell to Durham in the TOC semifinals last night in Orland.

The majors advanced to the semifinals with a 23-8 win over Biggs in the opening round Saturday.

The PLL junior softball team was one-and-done, after it fell to Chico, 1-0 on Saturday. The minors didn’t have a team in the TOC field.

PLL Baseball Winless at TOCs

The PLL baseball teams failed to win any games in the TOC tournament.

The juniors lost a heartbreaker to Durham, 10-9 in the first round Saturday at Chico Westside. The majors were eliminated by Chico Central in the first round, 14-6 Saturday in Durham.

The minors struggled in Orland, losing to Chico Westside, 13-9 in the single-elimination tournament. Next up for PLL softball and baseball is the District 47 all-star double-elimination tournaments, scheduled to begin in two weeks at various sites around the North State.

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