TIFFIN -- Under the Seiberling Gymnasium spotlight, the Heidelberg University wrestling team started off the Ohio Athletic Conference slate with a resounding 34-6 win over Otterbein University. The Student Princes took eight bouts from the Cardinals, wrestling in their first season since 1974. Senior Nino Majoy capped the match with a pin at 285.
Heidelberg improved to 4-2 in dual meets overall, 1-0 in the OAC. Otterbein dropped to 9-2 overall, 1-1 in the conference.
Otterbein's Jackson Lasko used a first period takedown to take a 2-0 lead after one over Mason Brainard. Brainard was able to escape twice, but lost 4-2.
With his team trailing 3-0, senior Ryan Hornack won by tech fall over Tyler Norris, 17-2 in 5:22. Hornack had little trouble with Norris, scoring at will.
Oregonian Hayden Bates continued his unbeaten season with a major decision over Jake Vaughan, 11-2. Bates took an early lead and never relented en route to victory.
After an Otterbein forfeit at 149 gave HU a 15-3 lead, Noah Messerall won an entertaining bout at 157. Entering with a 13-1 record, Otterbein's Willy Plaisir was tossed on his back twice in the match, with Messerall picking up several back points. Messerall held on for a 15-8 win.
At 165, Steven Murray nearly pinned Donny Didion in the opening seconds, settling instead for a takedown and four back points. Murray maintained pressure and picked up a 9-3 win.
Darren Decker's takedown of Braden Neuberger gave him a 2-0 lead after one. The sophomore quickly doubled his lead in the second with another takedown. Two more second-period takedowns gave Decker an 8-3 lead in the third. Starting down in the third, Decker yielded two near fall points on two occasions, tightening the match to 8-7. Decker, however, held on for the one-point triumph.
Dillen Decker took a 6-2 lead after one period against Corbin Bunsold at 184. Hunting for bonus points, Decker increased his intensity in the second period and held a 13-5 edge. Bunsold rode Decker for the third, but couldn't turn him. The result was a major decision for Decker, and a 28-3 lead for the Student Princes.
Drew Kasper, a Division II transfer, methodically defeated Heidelberg's Gage Finegan at 197. A steady stream of takedowns gave the Cardinal a 9-3 lead after two. A last-second takedown by Finegan wasn't enough, as he fell, 12-7.
In his first match in the new year, senior Nino Majoy pinned Ras Lumpkins in 2:36. The six-point effort drew the Heidelberg fans to their feet as the Student Princes won, 34-6.
"It was great to see the guys come out with energy and ready to go for the first conference dual," said third-year head coach Tony Patrizi. "We need to work on finishing matches in the third period."
Heidelberg returns to action over the weekend at a dual tournament hosted by Wabash College.