Wrestling stays perfect in OAC action

Gage Finegan (Abbey McKee/Heidelberg Athletics)
Gage Finegan (Abbey McKee/Heidelberg Athletics)

SEASON STATISTICS

TIFFIN -- Back under the spotlight in Seiberling Gymnasium, the Heidelberg University wrestling team handily defeated Muskingum University, 46-3. In the win, the Student Princes won nine bouts -- highlighted by pins from Dallas O'GreenSteven Murray and Darren Decker.

Heidelberg improved to 8-3 in dual meets overall, 2-0 in the OAC. Muskingum slipped to 3-7 overall, 0-2 in the conference.

"We had a lot of fun out there tonight" said third-year head coach Tony Patrizi. "I thought we had a great crowd and the guys fed off their energy."

Muskingum's Jordan Burkholder started the match with a quick two points against Mason Brainard. After Burkholder controlled the rest of the first period, Brainard attacked quickly in the second period, getting a takedown and four back points. Burkholder escaped and scored his second takedown, entering the third down 6-5 -- but in control of a riding time point. Burkholder went up 9-7 in the third before Brainard evened things on the scoreboard. The riding time point looming, Brainard allowed an escape, but couldn't tie the match. Burkholder emerged with a 13-9 win.

Ryan Hornack took command early in the 133 bout against Slade Stiles -- a match which featured more whistles than a marching band practice. Two takedowns helped Hornack to a 6-2 cushion after one. Powering his way to bonus points, Hornack continued to lay into Stiles. The Heidelberg senior won by tech fall, 20-4.

At 141, Hayden Bates remained unbeaten in OAC play with a win over Jon Raugh. Bates took a methodical 8-3 lead into the third before turning up his intensity. Hunting for bonus points, Bates battled to a 17-5 major decision.

HU's Dallas O'Green made short work of Toby Warrington. O'Green pinned Warrington in 1:37, picking up his fourth pin of the year.

At 157, Noah Messerall went on the attack early in the first period and tallied four takedowns in the opening three minutes. Offering the Seiberling crowd a clinic in takedowns, Messerall extended his in the second. His 13th and final takedown secured a 26-11 tech fall.

Following intermission, Steven Murray followed some sparring with a quick and stunning takedown/pin of Muskingum's Tanner Walker. Murray's sixth pin of the season gave Heidelberg a 26-3 edge.

Not to be outdone, Darren Decker pinned Michael Kashuba in 1:05. For Darren, it was his 10th pin on the season, eighth at 174.

Dillen Decker used a takedown and four backpoints to take a 6-0 lead in the first. Dillen pushed the lead out to 11-2 and took home a 12-3 major decision. He improved to a perfect 20-0 on the year.

In the final contested match of the evening, Gage Finegan took a lead over Anthony Zapata with a takedown late in the first period. Finegan rode Zapata the whole second period, sneaking in four back points just before the buzzer. An escape, a takedown and four backpoints in the third, combined with a point for riding time gave Finegan a 14-0 major decision.

At 285, Nino Majoy continued his perfect senior season, winning six points via forfeit.

"This was a catalyst heading into a big weekend," said Patrizi. "We're excited to build off tonight and look forward to Wheaton."

Heidelberg returns to action over the weekend at the Pete Willson - Wheaton Invitational, widely regarded as one of the top tournaments in the nation. .