Jacob Paradine and Dinuba High’s baseball team extended their mastery of the National Raisin Fowler Easter Classic Tuesday night.
Paradine was named the eight-team tournament’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight season while leading the Emperors to a third straight title with a 6-1 victory over the host Redcats in the final.
“He’s a special player,” Dinuba coach Brent Morelli said.
Paradine showed that during the Emperors’ 4-0 run through the tournament.
He went 1-for-2 while scoring three runs and playing flawless defense at shortstop in the final, and he was 7-for-12 with two doubles, a triple, a home run, nine runs and seven RBIs overall. He also earned a pitching win during a 4-1 win over Taft on Monday.
Paradine tuned up for the tournament by turning in three extra hours of batting practice each of the three days before the tournament started Saturday. He walked and scored on a passed ball in the first inning, singled in a run and scored on Royce Garcia’s ground out in the third and walkled and scored on another Garcia ground out in the fifth.
The hard work paid off. I was seeing the ball real well.
Dinuba shortstop Jacob Paradine, who went 7-for-12 while scoring nine runs and driving in seven to earn MVP honors of the National Raisin Fowler Easter Classic baseball tournament.
“That work paid off,” Paradine said. “I was seeing the ball real well.”
Paradine’s trips around the bases were more than enough to back Israel Garcia, who worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing only an unearned run on five hits and three walks. He was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher.
“I liked the approach coach Morelli had for each batter,” said Israel Garcia, who struck out four while winning for the second time in the tournament. “And the guys played well behind me.”
Royce Garcia struck out four over the final 1 2/3 innings to finish it off for Dinuba, which beat Kingsburg 7-4 in last season’s final and downed Taft 6-5 for the 2014 title.
Only Fowler (nine), Washington (six) and Kingsburg (five) have won the tournament title more times than the Emperors.
“Our kids have bought into this tournament,” Morelli said. “They enjoy it a lot. They expect to compete. I’m really proud of how we played the game and did all the little things.”