Posted: 1:45 pm Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Baseball notebook: Palm Beach Gardens coach Joe Russo earns 400th win 

By Matt Porter

Joe Russo’s milestone win was a no-doubter.

Russo

Russo

The Palm Beach Gardens coach won his 400th game as his Gators beat Deltona-Trinity Christian 12-0 in five innings on Thursday in the Florida League High School Invitational at Sanford.

Gardens designated hitter J.J. Schwarz (2-for-2, 4 RBI) and catcher James Jean (2-4, 4 RBI) each homered. Brooks de Montluzin struck out nine in five innings allowed two hits.

Russo is 400-145 in 17 seasons at Gardens.

Gardens (10-5), which has won seven in a row, advances to the tournament’s championship game at 7 p.m. Friday.

In their return from spring break, the Gators host rival Dwyer at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Correction: We apologize for missing one big name from our recent story that named the winningest baseball coaches in Palm Beach County history.

The late Dave Smith won 332 games at Atlantic from 1987-05. His teams earned seven district titles and two regional titles and made one state semifinal appearance.

Smith’s son, Kyle, is the baseball coach at Treasure Coast. The two schools play an annual memorial game to honor Smith, who died in 2009 at age 63. This year’s game is at 7 p.m. April 4 at Atlantic.

With Smith’s rightful inclusion, here’s how our chart should have looked:

Palm Beach County’s winningest baseball coaches

Jack Kokinda, Cardinal Newman (41 years) 703-518-6

*Scott Benedict, Palm Beach Central/Wellington (23 years) 501-158

*Joe Russo, Palm Beach Gardens (17 years) 400-145

Doug Ferguson, Jupiter (21 years) 373-205

Dave Smith, Atlantic (19 years) 332 wins

Jack Marcum, Lake Worth (18 years) 327-115

Wayne Sewell, King’s Academy (15 years) 310 wins

Jim Heaton, Forest Hill (17 years) 286-125

*active

Noteworthy: Former Lake Worth coach Dave Manzo, who retired in 2007 after 24 years at the school, is believed to have won more than 300 games. Russ Milliken, Forest Hill’s coach for the past 16 years, is believed to be in the high 200s.

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