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Brownsville knocks off Charleroi, 6-3

| Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 12:11 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Brownsville Area's Cory Lent (2) steals third in the first inning as Charleroi Area's third baseman, Matt DeMoss, waits for the throw at Veterans Field in Charleroi on Monday, April 14, 2014.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Charleroi Area's Matt Szerszen pitches against Brownsville Area at Veterans Field in Charleroi on Monday, April 14, 2014.

The Charleroi Area Cougars ran into a two-headed buzz saw Monday in the form of the Novotney brothers.

Brownsville Area's dynamic duo of Ryan Novotney and Cole Novotney almost single-handedly beat Charleroi, 6-3, in a Section 2-AA contest at Vets Field.

Ryan Novotney did his damage with his arm, throwing a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts and two walks.

Cole Novotney did it with his bat, collecting three hits, including a two-run triple and a towering solo home run.

The Falcons (6-3, 5-1) collected 11 hits against three Charleroi hurlers, but ran themselves out of possibly more runs by having three runners caught stealing and another picked off first base.

But all of that didn't matter, according to Charleroi coach Luke Mollis, as much as the pitching of Ryan Novotney.

“We didn't hit, but he is the best pitcher we faced all year and maybe the best pitcher in the section,” Mollis said. “He threw harder than we're used to and overpowered us some times. No, we didn't hit, but I think he had a little to do with it.”

Charleroi (4-4, 3-2) took a 1-0 lead in the first when Gunnar Riley's fly ball to center brought home Matt Freeman, who walked and moved to third on an error.

Brownsville went up 2-1 against Charleroi starter Matt Szerszen in the second when Cole Novotney smoked a two-out, two-run triple deep to left center.

The Falcons scored two more runs in the third on Brice Shea's bases-loaded double down the right field line.

Shea's hit came off reliever Josiah Fisher, who came on in relief of Szerszen with the bases loaded.

“Matt was a little tired to start the game and he lied to me about it,” Mollis said with a little smile. “He's a competitor and he wanted to pitch, but he just didn't have it today.

“That hit (by Shea) came on a pitch that was supposed to be in the dirt. It's a couple mistakes like that that hurt us. Otherwise, I thought our guys all pitched pretty well.”

Szerszen, Fisher and Josh Sidary combined to strike out nine batters.

Trailing 4-1, Charleroi closed to within 4-3 in the fifth when Szerszen singled home Freeman, who singled in front of him and stole second. Szerszen then scored on an error.

But in the top of the sixth, Cole Novotney led off with his homer and after Cory Lent followed with a double, he would later score on an error.

Sam Pager had two of Charleroi's four hits while Lent had two for Brownsville.

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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