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Robby Sexton Drafted by Boston Red Socks after Tommy John Surgery

Wright State University Pataskala pitcher Robby Sexton was selected in the 14th round by the Boston Red Sox on Saturday in the Major League Baseball draft.  He was the 418th pick, which is impressive considering he underwent Tommy John surgery in the not-too-distant past.

The left-handed pitcher has managed to make a full recovery, evidenced by his striking out four times as many batters as he walked while at Wright State.  His senior season put him at 7 wins and 3 losses, with a 3.15 earned run average, and 58 strikeouts in just over 74 innings pitched. His innings and strikeouts were eighth and ninth in the Horizon League, but Sexton’s ERA put him at sixth.

Before being drafted by the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, Sexton has proven his worth on the mound. During his season debut on February 20th, Sexton pitched three innings and struck out six batters. During the Joe Nuxhall Classic on April 12th, the left-handed pitcher threw six shutout innings against Cincinnati. He sent six Oakland players back to the dugout on April 29th and threw another seven strikeouts against UIC on May 20th. All told, Sexton’s recovery from his Tommy John surgery has been very impressive.

Robby Sexton is a true testament to modern sports medicine. Ulnar Collateral Ligament Replacements (also called Tommy John) are becoming increasingly necessary among younger ballplayers. These surgeries replace a damaged tendon in the elbow. The fraying and damage of the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow often occurs to pitchers who overuse their throwing arms. This results in pain and weakness, and can often cause pitchers to lack control of the ball. As impressive as Sexton’s return is, he is by no means alone in undergoing the procedure.  In fact, out of 11 pitchers drafted by the LA Dodgers, four of them have had Tommy John surgery.

On May 27th, the Horizon League All-Tournament Team was thankful for Sexton, during the winner’s bracket final at Nischwitz Stadium. The Wright State lefty pitched six shutout innings to defeat Milwaukee, and allowed a mere two hits while striking out eight batters, his season’s best.  He also contributed to the defeat of Western Michigan in the NCAA Regionals on June 4th in Louisville, KY. Sexton through just over six innings, picking up two strikeouts, but giving up three runs.

Wright State has had an exciting draft this year, with Sexton coming in as the fourth Raider draftee so far.  The Oakland A’s drafted WSU’s junior catcher Sean Murphy in the third round as the 83rd pick.  San Diego selected WSU’s senior pitcher Jesse Scholtens five rounds ahead of Robby Sexton, with the 264th overall pick.  Two rounds before Sexton’s selection, junior shortstop Mitch Roman was drafted by the White Sox as the 356th overall pick.  Having four players drafted to the MLB sets a new record for the baseball program at Wright State, eclipsing the three players selected in 2008.

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