Towanda's Coach Sexton earns 500th win as Knights down Troy
WYSOX - Towanda's 16-1 win over Troy in three innings during NTL East baseball action Monday may not have looked like a major event it is a historic achievement for Black Knight coach Bill Sexton.
It was Sexton's 500th career win as coach, a tribute to his success and longevity.
"When you've been around as long as I have you're fortunate enough to have the ball players that I've had and the assistant coaches that I've had," he said.
It's a good feeling. I'm lucky enough to coach baseball in a baseball town."
When he started out 34 years ago Sexton didn't know how long he would be coaching.
"I was fortunate to find this school district and community and to have the opportunity to coach all the sports I have," he remarked. "And the support of the community to do these kind of things."
The good feelings were mutual as Sexton would meet his wife and raise his kids in Towanda. In fact, it was his love of Towanda that kept from leaving. When he had opportunities to leave he would weigh his options and staying with the Black Knights always won out.
"This is small town America," he explained.
The community really supports athletics and the kids get a charge out of athletics. You're always fortunate to be in a community like this."
With 34 years of memories Sexton had too many highlights to be able to separate them.
"There have been a lot players who moved on up through the levels," he said.
And there are those who just had great high school careers."
There is one memory he'll always cherish.
"I was able to coach my sons," Sexton said.
That's a highlight of my coaching career."
His current captains Brandon Dinelli and Austin Markel feel fortunate to be a part of this accomplishment.
"It's an honor," Dinelli said about playing for Sexton.
They feel that having him as their coach is their best asset.
"It gives you a lot of confidence," Markel remarked.
The experience he has, he's been in pretty much every situation."
Early on in the game it looked like they might have another tough one on their hands like last week against Waverly.
Troy's Jared Mattocks scored in the top of the first inning to put the Trojans up 1-0.
"The defense was fairly shaky in the first inning," Sexton said.
We made three mental mistakes and two physical errors."
They would recover in the second half of the inning as they found their bats. They scored four runs off four hits to take a 4-1 lead into the second. From there they continued to hit, scoring five runs in the second off four hits in the second inning and scoring seven runs off three hits in the third.
"We came out hitting and hit the rest of the way," Sexton remarked.
He was also pleased with his starter Tristan James.
"James did a nice job throwing strikes," Sexton explained. In their first game against Waverly their pitchers struggled to get ahead in the count and it hurt them but today James did a good job getting up early and it showed as he had five strikeouts and no walks. The lone run was earned.
At the plate Dinelli (2-for-3), Markel (2-for-3), Sawyer Strope (2-for-3) and Mitch Patel (2-for-2) had mutliple hit games. Markel had a triple while Strope hit a double.
Nick Place (1-for-3) had 4-RBI, Markel, Strope and Patel added two more each with Dinelli knocking in one runner. Ty Johnson also had an RBI.
Dylan Bates also had a hit, a triple, with 2-RBI.
Dinelli scored three times while Jared Lines, Bates, Tye Fowler, Markel and Patel each scored twice. Strope, Cole Sexton and Johnson also crossed home.
For Troy Jared Mattocks went 1-for-2 with a run scored while Landis Zimmerman was 1-for-1.
Josh Mattocks and Kyle Jackson pitched for Troy. They combined for three strikeouts, four walks, 10 hits and 11 earned runs.
Looking ahead all Sexton is worried about is Wednesday's game at Athens.
"I just want to get the next one," he remarked. "Get 501 and go from there. You never look too far ahead."
Chris Manning can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.