Deceptive Delivery Dooms Turks

6/28/2007 – Daily News Record

Harrisonburg Loses for Second Time in Three Games Written By Matthew Stoss Daily News Record STAUNTON – Prior to throwing a pitch, Tim Sexton had to complete a deliberate ballet of a windup before releasing a well-concealed baseball from his lanky right arm. Once the Staunton Braves’ starting pitcher did, Bob Wease wasn’t happy. "Our approach at the plate was absolutely horrible," the Harrisonburg Turks manager said a day after saying he wanted to win five or six games in a row. "Our approach to the game was horrible." Sexton, standing 6-foot-6 inches high, fell two outs short of a complete game, but pitched the Braves to an 8-1 Valley Baseball League win over the Turks on Wednesday at Moxie Stadium. "He’s just a tremendous pitcher," Wease said of Sexton, who struck out seven and threw 107 pitches in 8 1/3 innings. The sophomore from Miami Dade College, who made only his second start for the Braves on Wednesday, held the VBL’s best offense to five hits, walked none and retired 16 of the first 17 batters he faced. "His windup was pretty deceptive," said Turks left fielder B.J. Wheeler, who drove in Harrisonburg’s lone run with an RBI double in the sixth inning. "He hid the ball very well – very well." Sexton said he developed his delivery, which looks like a hybrid of Hideo Nomo and Fernando Valenzuela with a touch of Mr. Miyagi, through a drill his college pitching coach taught him last summer to correct a mechanical flaw. It worked, and Sexton said the overemphasizing the drill required, stuck. "I started doing the drill to keep me back and it turned into what I have now," Sexton said. The Braves (11-9) supported Sexton with a pair of home runs – first a solo shot from David Burns in the second inning and a two-run blast by Chris Wilkins in the third. Both came off Harrisonburg starter Jim Kennedy (Rider), who lasted just two innings and fell to 3-1. Sexton improved to 2-0 and only had trouble in sixth when Wheeler (Clarendon) turned a high-80s fastball into a double off the right-field wall. "The kid had great stuff," said Wheeler who finished 1-for-3. "You’ve got to tip your hat to him." The Turks (14-5) had won six games in a row before losing to Waynesboro on Sunday, but have now lost two out of their last three. They still hold a one-game lead over the Generals for the first place in the VBL. "We weren’t mentally to ready to play today," said Wease, who thought his team swung at too many first pitches. "We didn’t give the guy a chance to pitch." Harrisonburg 000 001 000 – 1 5 3 Staunton 022 100 21x – 8 11 1 Kennedy, Chapman (3), Reinart (7), Sonen (7) and Pericht; Sexton, Beerbohm (9) and Clendenin. W – Sexton (2-0). L – Kennedy (3-1). HR – S: Wilkins (1), Barrett (2).