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Charleroi stays alive in 2-AA

| Saturday, May 3, 2014, 12:11 a.m.
Jim Ference / The Valley Independent
Chartiers-Huston's third baseman Troy Whitfield waits for the throw as Charleroi's Zach Nabozny slides into third in the fourth inning at Charleroi's Vets Field on Friday, May 2, 2014.

One thing about these Charleroi Cougars: Their games aren't for the faint of heart.

Five of their Section 2 AA games have been decided by one run.

The latest came Friday at Vets Field when Zach Nabozny drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the winning run in a 4-3 victory over Chartiers-Houston.

The win was huge for Charleroi (8-7, 7-5) because it keeps the Cougars in the playoff race. C-H (9-4, 7-4) leads Charleroi by a half-game for the third and final playoff spot in the section.

The Bucs could have clinched the playoff berth with a win.

“It's about time we got a break that went our way,” said Charleroi coach Luke Mollis, who watched his team lose a 1-0 eight-inning heartbreaker two days earlier against Washington on an error.

“The sad thing is that we could be in better shape if a couple of those breaks could have gone our way earlier in the season,” Mollis said.

Charleroi is 2-3 in one-run section games.

Charleroi fell behind 2-0 when the Bucs scored two unearned runs against starter Josiah Fisher in the second inning.

But the Cougars scored one run in the third and two more in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead.

The Bucs tied the game in the top of the sixth on a single, a balk and a double all after two outs.

In the Charleroi seventh, freshman Josh Mavilla led off with a single and was bunted to second.

With two outs, Gunnar Riley was intentionally walked and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. After that, Sam Miceli was intentionally walked to load the bases and get to Nabozny.

Nabozny walked on five pitches to bring home the winning run.

Fisher, also a freshman, went the distance for Charleroi, giving up five hits with six strikeouts.

“Josiah is really coming on for us as a pitcher,” Mollis said. “He pitched a great game and we had a couple of hits when we needed them. It's a good win.

“We're still in the running, and we have to win out and hope Washington beats Chartiers-Houston. But it is fun to still be playing important games in May.”

Mavilla had two of the Cougars' four hits.

California 3, Jeff-Morgan 0

The Trojans (15-0, 9-0) clinched at least a share of the Section 1 A crown as Josh Luko fired his second no-hitter of the season.

Luko, a senior, struck out 11 and walked one in throwing the gem.

Louden Conte gave Luko all the run support he needed when he slugged a two-run home run in the third inning.

Luko had a single and double for the Trojans.

West Mifflin 13, Ringgold 10

The Rams (3-9, 0-9) almost knocked off first place West Mifflin (11-3, 9-1) in Section 4 AAA.

The Titans scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull out the high-scoring win.

Gage Downer had a triple and Nick Fowkes and Conor Maciejewski each doubled for Ringgold.

Ryan Kandsberger hit a three-run home run in the big sixth for West Mifflin.

Frazier 17, Geibel 0

The Commodores (5-8, 4-4) kept their playoff hopes alive with the rout of the Gators.

Frazier, which scored 11 runs in the first inning, got a home run from Josh Miller.

Laurel Highlands 4, Yough 3

The Cougars (4-11, 2-9) gave first-place Laurel Highlands (13-3, 11-0) a scare before falling short as the Mustangs scored the game-winning run in the seventh inning.

Brandon Regotti doubled for Yough.

SoftballWest Mifflin 4, Yough 3

The Lady Cougars (5-6, 6-6) dropped the Section 3 AAA game to section leader West Mifflin (15-2, 10-2).

Cassidy Pearce had a double for Yough.

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

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