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Missed opportunities sink Charleroi

| Thursday, April 10, 2014, 12:36 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Charleroi's Zach Nabozny pithces against Washington at Veterans Filed in Charleroi on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

If Charleroi baseball coach Luke Mollis had a tough time sleeping Wednesday night, it would be understandable.

That's because earlier that day, he watched his Cougars drop a tough 2-1 Section 2 AA decision to Washington at Vets Field.

This 2-1 loss was tougher than most because Charleroi (3-3, 2-1) had more than its share of chances to pull out a win.

The Cougars had two runners gunned down attempting to steal and another picked off in a botched attempt to get in a rundown to allow a runner to score from third.

The hosts scored their lone run in the bottom of the seventh and had the bases loaded when the game ended.

“We definitely had our chances,” Mollis said. “There were some missed opportunities. We ran ourselves out of a couple innings, but I will take the blame for that. Maybe I was a little too aggressive coaching.”

The third inning, for example, was a tough one for the Cougars as they had two hits and the Prexies (4-3, 3-1) committed two errors, yet no runs scored. Washington catcher Jarell Dates threw out Matt DeMoss after he led off with a single.

In the fourth, Charleroi had runners on first and third with two outs. When Jake Laskey broke for second, Washington pitcher Jonathan Spina ran at him toward second and Laskey was tagged out before the runner on third could score.

In the sixth, Matt Szerszen and Sam Miceli led off with singles, but cleanup hitter Gunnar Riley grounded into a double play and Zach Nabozny popped out to end the threat.

Trailing 2-0 in the seventh, Charleroi put runners on second and third with one out. After Josh Mavilla bounced to the mound for the second out, Spina intentionally walked Matt Freeman to load the bases.

Szerszen drew a walk on a full count to force in a run to make it 2-1.

Up stepped Miceli, who had two hits earlier. But Spina struck Miceli out on another full count pitch to end the game.

While the Cougars had a rough time finding ways to score, Nabozny was a hard-luck loser on the mound, giving up two runs (one unearned) on seven hits in 5 23 innings. He struck out seven and walked three.

“He pitched a good game, but we couldn't get any run support for him,” Mollis said.

Charleroi had seven hits in the game, with Freeman joining Miceli with two.

Washington also had seven hits, with Connor Bedillion getting a pair.

“It's tough to lose a close one like this, but one thing that is good is that every single game we play we have a chance to win,” Mollis said. “We're in it. We just have to figure out a way to win more close ones. But we're a lot better off than we were a year ago.”

The Cougars host Fort Cherry at 4 p.m. today.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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