Clarion, Pa. -- Only a few days after being named Clarion's head coach, Troy Letters watched his Golden Eagles win 7 of 10 bouts and deliver him his first collegiate win with an impressive 21-10 victory over Eastern Michigan on Sunday.
Held at Waldo S. Tippin Gymnasium, Clarion evened its NCAA Division I wrestling record at 1-1, while EMU dropped to 0-2.
"Overall we did a nice job today," said Letters. "I thought we were aggressive, took the battle to them and in a number of matches, and finished some bouts off with some nice takedowns. Winning is a mentality – you have to stay aggressive late in the third period to win big matches. That's where we want to be at all ten weight classes."
Clarion won seven bouts on Sunday including victories from Joe Waltko at 133, John Matacic at 141, Tyler Bedelyon at 149, #4 James Fleming at 157, Ryan Darch at 174, Justin Ortega at 197 and Phil Catrucco at heavyweight.
The match started with EMU's #19 rated Jared Germaine posting a 12-3 major decision over freshman Tyler Fraley at 125.
Down 4-0, the Eagles roared back at 133 with senior Joe Waltko posting a 6-4 win over Vincent Pizzuto. A second period reversal put Waltko in front 3-1 in the second, and a ket takedown midway through the third put the Eagle senior up 5-2 on his way to the win.
Freshman John Matacic scored two, first period takedowns, and then closed the match with a takedown for a 6-3 win over Seth Schaner at 141, then Tyler Bedelyon defeated Justin Melick 7-3 at 149 to put Clarion ahead 9-4. Bedelyon used a five-point move in the second period to post the win.
The feature match had #4 rated Fleming taking on #19 ranked Aaron Sulzer at 157. Fleming posted first and second period takedowns for a 4-0 lead after two periods, then rode Sulzer the entire third period for the win. During the bout, the EMU bench was cited for conduct and had a team point deducted from their score. Clarion led 12-3 after 157.
Nick Milano lost a 7-3 decision at 165 to Jacob Dorulla, but Ryan Darch got the points back with a 3-2 win over Mike Curby at 174. Darch escaped in the third to tie the bout 1-1, then posted a takedown midway through and won by a 3-2 margin.
Steven Cressley lost a major an 18-5 major decision to Philip Joseph at 184, but the Golden Eagles rallied to win the final two bouts with Justin Ortega gaining a 6-4 overtime win against Khodor Hoballah at 197, and Phil Catrucco won 5-2 over Chris Egger at heavyweight.
In Ortega's win, he held a 4-1 lead entering the third period with takedowns in the first and second period. But Hoballah used a late, three-point near fall to toe the match and sent it to overtime. In overtime Ortega scored a takedown 39 seconds into the period to win 6-4 and gave Clarion an insurmountable 18-10 lead.
Catrucco used two, third period takedowns to defeat Eggert 5-2.
CLARION NOTES: The win brings the series record between the two schools to 3-5-1 … Clarion will next wrestle at the Penn State Open on Dec. 2nd, the a the PSAC's on Dec. 8 at Kutztown. The next dual meet is at Edinboro on Dec. 16 with Northwestern, and the next home dual is against Pitt on Dec. 21 at 7pm.
125: Jared Germaine (E) maj. dec. Tyler Fraley (CL) 12-3
133: Joe Waltko (CL) dec. Vincent Pizzuto (E) 6-4
141: John Matacic (CL) dec. Seth Schaner (E) 6-3
149: Tyler Bedelyon (CL) dec. Justin Melick (E) 7-3
157: James Fleming (CL) dec. Aaron Sulzer (E) 5-0*
165: Jacob Dorula (E) dec. Nick Milano (CL) 7-3
174: Ryan Darch (CL) dec. Mike Curby (E) 3-2
184: Phillip Joseph (E) maj. dec. Steven Cressley (CL) 18-5
197: Justin Ortega (CL) dec. Khodor Hoballah (E) 6-4 ot
285: Phil Catrucco (CL) dec. Chris Eggert (E) 5-2
* - EMU – 1 point team deduction from bench during 157 match.