PITTSBURGH -- The No. 13 University of Pittsburgh wrestling team (9-1) won a thrilling 19-18 dual over No. 5 Oklahoma State (4-4) this afternoon at Fitzgerald Field House.
With his team trailing by three going into the final match, senior heavyweight P.J. Tasser was able to bring the crowd of 1,921 to its feet with an overtime takedown of OSU's Austin Marsden to even the score at 18-18. The Panthers then were awarded the tiebreaking bonus point on criteria thanks to a pin from freshman Mikey Racciato at 149 pounds.
Oklahoma State started out the match with victories at 125 and 133 pounds to take an early 7-0 lead before freshman Edgar Bright was able to knock off Anthony Collica at 141 pounds. Bright jumped on 12th-ranked Collica early scoring the match's first takedown and not letting up adding three more takedowns, an escape and a bonus point for riding time to take the match 10-5.
Racciato gave Pitt its first lead of the afternoon when he was able to pin eighth-ranked Josh Kindig at 149 pounds. Kindig scored the lone takedown in the match but Racciato was able to score a quick reversal and get Kindig to his back eventually completing the fall at the 1:23 mark to send the crowd into a frenzy.
The Cowboys rallied to win the next three matches, including a highly controversial overtime bout at 174 pounds between Tyler Wilps and second-ranked Chris Perry, to take an 18-9 lead with a three bouts left to go.
Max Thomusseit picked up a decision over Nolan Boyd at 184 pounds to start the Panthers' comeback. Thomusseit and Boyd entered the third even at 3-3 when Boyd was able to turn Thomusseit for two back points to gain a 5-3 edge. Thomusseit kept his composure and scored a reversal to even the match. With a bonus point for riding time locked up, Thomusseit cut Boyd and was able to score off a high single with 20 seconds left in the match to earn the 8-6 decision.
At 197 pounds, Pitt needed Nick Bonaccorsi to win in order to keep its hopes of a victory alive and the redshirt sophomore delivered with a decision over Kyle Crutchmer. After the two combatants exchanged escapes, the match went to overtime even at 1-1. Bonaccorsi was the aggressor in overtime and was able to get in on a leg quickly and work his way around for the takedown to secure the 3-1 win and get the Panthers within striking distance heading into the final bout of the day.
Tasser stepped to the mat with the match on the line and his team trailing 18-15 giving up nearly 50 pounds to No. 14 Austin Marsden but the senior would not be denied when he capitalized on a double leg shot near the Pitt bench in the first sudden victory period of overtime to give him a 3-1 win and tie the match at 18-18, allowing the Panthers to win on criteria.
Pitt will return to the mats on Friday, Jan. 24, when it hosts No. 12 Virginia (13-2, 2-0 ACC) in a key Conference dual at 7 p.m. inside Fitzgerald Field House.
125: No. 17 Eddie Klimara (O) m. dec. Anthony Zanetta (P), 15-4; OSU leads, 4-0
133: No. 4 Jon Morrison (O) dec. No. 17 Shelton Mack (P), 2-0; OSU leads, 7-0
141: No. 20 Edgar Bright (P) dec. No. 12 Anthony Collica (O), 10-5; OSU leads, 7-3
149: Mikey Racciato (P) pins No. 8 Josh Kindig (O), 1:23; Pitt leads, 9-7
157: No. 2 Alex Dieringer (O) t. fall Eric Nutter (P), 17-0 (4:07); OSU leads, 12-9
165: No. 5 Tyler Caldwell (O) dec. Geno Morelli (P), 3-1; OSU leads, 15-9
174: No. 2 Chris Perry (O) dec. No. 8 Tyler Wilps (P), 5-4 (OT); OSU leads, 18-9
184: No. 6 Max Thomusseit (P) dec. Nolan Boyd (O), 8-6; OSU leads, 18-12
197: No. 13 Nick Bonaccorsi (P) dec. Kyle Crutchmer (O), 3-1 (OT); OSU leads, 18-15
285: P.J. Tasser (P) dec. No. 14 Austin Marsden (O), 3-1 (OT); Match Tied, 18-18