WATERTOWN — The Watertown Rapids have a new manager and one with ties to the north country.
The Rapids on Monday announced the hiring of Ben Moxley, a current assistant baseball coach at Clarkson University, as their new manager.
Moxley this spring will be entering his third season with the Clarkson coaching staff and served as an assistant coach with his hometown Oneonta Outlaws of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
Moxley replaces John Rizzo, who was hired as Rapids’ manager for the 2020 season in the PGCBL, which was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Working with Clarkson, Moxley was part of the team’s staff that was honored as the Liberty League coaching staff of the year in 2019, and coached three All-Liberty League pitchers that year.
“I’m honored to be joining the Rapids and become a member of the Watertown community,” Moxley said in a press release. “Being from upstate New York, I’ve had the pleasure to play and coach against Watertown teams at the (Alex T. Duffy) Fairgrounds and was always impressed by the community’s support for their teams. Coaching at Clarkson for the past three years has given me a great appreciation for the north country community.”
Prior to coaching with Clarkson, Moxley served as an assistant coach with the Oneonta Outlaws and SUNY Brockport after playing at the college.
A native of Oneonta, Moxley was a pitching coach and served as assistant general manager for the Outlaws, who remain in the PGCBL.
“The PGCBL has become what summer is all about for me,” Moxley said. “I was lucky enough to play for a championship team in 2015 with Mohawk Valley and have worked under a true coaching legend in Joe Hughes of the Oneonta Outlaws since 2018.”
Moxley finished up his collegiate playing career at SUNY Brockport under coach Jim Kane as a pitcher. Moxley also pitched at Herkimer Community College, which finished third in the 2014 Junior College World Series, as well as Siena College and SUNY Cortland, before transferring to Brockport.
Previously, Moxley was named as New York State Class B Player of the Year for Oneonta High School, which won the 2012 state title.
While the Rapids continue to build their roster for the 2021 season, Moxley has had a chance to get “acquainted” with some of the current Rapids’ players.
“I think the community will really enjoy this roster, we have a bunch of blue collar work ethic type guys that just want to compete and get better as they chase their goals of being professional ball players.”
According to the team, Rizzo and the Rapids parted ways following his hiring in a full-time position with a university program.
Moxley is the second Rapids’ manager with north country ties as Mike Wood, then an assistant coach with St. Lawrence University, managed Watertown in 2019. Mike Anderson served as the team’s first manager in 2018.
“Ben is bringing a lot of versatility to the Rapids. From the start you can sense his leadership and drive to develop a successful product on and off the field,” Rapids’ general manager Nick Czerow said of Moxley. “I am really impressed with the culture he will bring. I believe he will deliver us an exciting team, and be a great presence in the community with our players.”
Watertown’s roster for the upcoming season includes pitcher and Ogdensburg Free Academy graduate Ethan Baldwin.
The Rapids are expected to open their PGCBL in late May or early June, with the schedule yet to be released.