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Oklahoma State routs Bucknell in season opener

MIAMI, Okla. -- The Oklahoma State wrestling team proved worthy of its No. 1 ranking in its season opener Sunday afternoon, dominating Bucknell in a 36-3 dual victory behind five bonus-point wins at NEO Fieldhouse.

Kyle Crutchmer highlighted the day with a first-period fall in the 174-pound bout, while Nick Piccininni and Jonce Blaylock recorded technical falls and Kaid Brock and Chandler Rogers added major decisions. Dean Heil was also victorious at 141 pounds in the only match that featured two ranked wrestlers.

"I'm feeling better about my team right now," head coach John Smith said. "I was a little concerned going in with a few starters out, and you don't like starting your season like that."

The Cowboys opened the match with bonus points at 125 pounds as 15th-ranked Nick Piccininni recorded a 15-0 tech fall over Jordan Gessner in 3:46. Piccininni jumped out early, scoring 12 points in the first period, thanks to a takedown, a two-point near fall and a couple of four-point near falls. Starting the second period on bottom, the redshirt freshman escaped and converted a takedown 45 seconds into the frame to finish the match and pick up the first dual victory of his career.

At 133 pounds, redshirt freshman Kaid Brock scored bonus points in his return to the mat from a season-ending injury last year. Brock knocked off Bucknell's Joey Gould in a 16-6 major decision to expand the Oklahoma State lead to 9-0.
"In the end, I thought we looked pretty sharp at 125 and 133," Smith said. "Not that we were perfect. It's hard to be perfect, but getting out there, scoring points and a lot of riding on our part. I didn't expect that."

Matched up with 19th-ranked Tyler Smith, returning 141-pound NCAA champion Dean Heil recorded a decision to push the Cowboy lead to 12-0. Heil notched three takedowns in the opening period to take an early 6-2 lead, and after a takedown with 35 seconds left in the second, Heil took an 8-5 lead into the final frame. The junior would close it out with ease, earning a 14-7 decision with riding time.

Jonce Blaylock impressed in his 2016-17 debut, tallying a 21-2 tech fall over Seth Hogue in the 149-pound bout. Blaylock dropped Hogue for a takedown 30 seconds into the match, and recorded a pair of two-point near falls to cap off the first period. Leading, 14-2, heading into the third period, Blaylock would finish strong and score seven quick points to record the tech fall in 6:37.

The Cowboys took their lone loss of the day at 157 pounds, as Bucknell's Victor Lopez held off junior Davey Dolan in a 7-5 decision.

Fifth-ranked Chandler Rogers posted a 9-1 major decision over Bucknell's Logan Kerin in his first match down at 165 pounds after competing at 174 last season. Rogers led throughout the match, and picked up the riding time point for the bonus point win.

Returning from an injury that cut his 2016 campaign short, senior Kyle Crutchmer couldn't have asked for a better return. Crutchmer pinned Chad Reese 1:32 into the first period to put the Pokes up, 27-3.

"This was something that I had been looking forward to," Crutchmer said. "Not just the pin, but the match. I've been out for about six months. I've been training a little bit for the last couple of months, but coming back and having a pin. It's unbelievable."

Senior Nolan Boyd (184), redshirt sophomore Preston Weigel (197) and senior Austin Schafer (285) each recorded decisions to close out the match, giving the Cowboys their first triumph of the season.

Oklahoma State's next dual match will send the Cowboys back out on the road to face No. 15 Minnesota on Nov. 27 in Minneapolis.

Results:
125: No. 15 Nick Piccininni (OSU) TF Jordan Gessner (BUCK) 15-0, 3:46
133: No. 6 Kaid Brock (OSU) MD Joey Gould (BUCK) 16-6
141: No. 1 Dean Heil (OSU) dec. No. 19 Tyler Smith (BUCK) 14-7
149: Jonce Blaylock (OSU) TF Seth Hogue (BUCK) 21-2, 6:37
157: Victor Lopez (BUCK) dec. Davey Dolan (OSU) 7-5
165: No. 5 Chandler Rogers (OSU) MD Logan Kerin (BUCK) 9-1
174: No. 6 Kyle Crutchmer (OSU) fall Chad Reese (BUCK) 1:32
184: No. 5 Nolan Boyd (OSU) dec. Garrett Hoffman (BUCK) 7-4
197: No. 7 Preston Weigel (OSU) dec. Tom Sleigh (BUCK) 7-2
285: Austin Schafer (OSU) dec. Tyler Greene (BUCK) 8-1

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