EDINBORO, Pa. -- The No. 17 University of Pittsburgh wrestling team won the final six matches of the night to erase an 18-0 deficit and defeat No. 15 Edinboro, 19-18, this evening at McComb Field House.
"You talk about this team, there's no quit in this team," said head coach Rande Stottlemyer. "This was a lot of fun. To do this here, in our last EWL match, was a great moment."
After the Fighting Scots took the first four matches of the evening, Donnie Tasser got the Panthers on the board with a 10-2 major decision at 157 pounds over Casey Fuller. Tasser started the match aggressively scoring an early takedown on a high single near the center of the mat. The senior was able to push his lead to 5-0 after two, scoring a quick escape and then converting a low single on the ankle for the two points. In the third, Tasser kept up his aggressive approach and secured a pair of takedowns to extend his lead to 9-2. A bonus point for riding time secured the major decision for Tasser and put momentum in Pitt's corner.
Tyler Wilps took a 9-6 decision over Johnny Greisheimer to keep the momentum going. After trailing 6-5 going into the final period, Wilps started down and earned a quick escape to knot the match. A high single converted into a takedown near the edge of the mat put WIlps ahead for good and a bonus point for riding time gave Wilps the 9-6 decision and cutting further into the EU advantage.
At 174 pounds, Nick Bonaccrosi took a 6-1 decision over Patrick Jennings. Bonaccorsi used a pair of first period takedowns, a second period escape and a bonus point for over three minutes riding time to earn the victory.
Max Thomusseit gave up an early takedown to Vince Pickett at 184 but quickly responded with an escape and takedown of his own to take a 3-2 lead into the second. In the second, Thomusseit gained control of the match with an escape and takedown. Thomusseit was able to secure a 7-2 decision when he rode out Pickett in the third to cut the Edinboro team lead to a mere five points with two matches remaining.
Wrestling without senior heavyweight Zac Thomusseit due to illness, the Panthers had to bump up P.J. Tasser from up from 174 pounds to 197 pounds. The junior responded by picking up a huge 9-2 decision over Warren Bosch. Giving up over 20 pounds to Bosch, Tasser was able to strike first when he planted Bosch off a scramble and turned him to his back for a pair of nearfall points to take a 4-0 lead after 1. Tasser pushed his advantage to 7-0 after the second when he earned an escape and yet another takedown, this time on a high single. Tasser was able to clinch the win in the third with an escape off a reversal and a point for riding time to set up a heavyweight showdown to decide the match.
"P.J. is the consummate team guy," said Stottlemyer. "He stepped up for us again tonight and got us a big win to keep us in the match."
Wrestling his first match of the season at heavyweight, Matt Wilps was giving up 60 pounds to 20th-ranked Ernest James. After the two combatants exchanged a scoreless first, Wilps started down in the second and quickly escaped. Following the Wilps escape, neither wrestler was able to score in the remainder of the frame and Wilps went to the third with a narrow 1-0 advantage. While on top in the third, Wilps was reversed but was able to escape sending the match to overtime. In sudden victory, Wilps got in on a single near the edge but time expired before he could finish on it and the match went on to ride outs. James chose down to start and Wilps was able to ride him out for the 30 seconds, punctuated by an authoritative slam with eight seconds remaining. When Wilps was down he was quickly able to find his base and earn the escape to secure the 3-2 victory and give Pitt the dramatic 19-18 victory.
"This was a great team win for us," Stottlemyer said. "We kept fighting the whole match and were able to get the win. Give all the credit to our guys, they didn't back down."
The Panthers will return to the mats on Saturday, March 9, when they return to McComb Fieldhouse on the Edinboro campus for the EWL Championships.
125: Kory Mines (E) pins Derrick Nelson (P), 1:32; EU leads, 6-0
133: No. 3 A.J. Schopp (E) dec. No. 17 Shelton Mack (P), 2-0; EU leads, 9-0
141: No. 4 Mitchell Port (E) pins Travis Shaffer (P), 5:54; EU leads, 15-0
149: No. 17 David Habat (E) dec. Ronnie Garbinsky (P), 8-6; EU leads, 18-0
157: Donnie Tasser (P) m. dec. Casey Fuller (E), 10-2; EU leads, 18-4
165: No. 12 Tyler Wilps (P) dec. Johnny Greishemier (E), 9-6; EU leads, 18-7
174: Nick Bonaccorsi (P) dec. Patrick Jennings (E), 6-1; EU leads, 18-10
184: No. 14 Max Thomusseit (P) dec. Vince Pickett (E), 7-2; EU leads, 18-13
197: P.J. Tasser (P) dec. Warren Bosch (E), 9-2; EU leads, 18-16
285: Matt Wilps (P) dec. No. 20 Ernest James (E), 3-2 (OT); Pitt wins 19-18