TEMPE, Ariz. --The No. 13/19 Sun Devils started and finished strong, ultimately posting a 30-15 victory over Cal Poly, in their Pac-12 opener. The win improved ASU to 36-12 all time and 20-3 at home vs. the Mustangs.
Josh Kramer and Ted Rico set the tone with back-to-back decisions at 125 and 133 lbs., Kramer's victory padded with riding time as ASU took a 6-0 lead. Kramer's victory marked his first in duals while Rico picked up the first win of his career.
"It's good for a couple Arizona kids to get in the lineup and make an impact in the dual meet today," said head coach Zeke Jones. "It ended up being wins that were important. I think Josh Kramer gets to the leg and doesn't finish as much as he should, but getting his hand raised is always big. Ted (Rico) finishing that match, I think he just needs to finish a little stronger. Both got the W."
The teams traded pins, Josh Maruca (149) defeating Joshy Cortez with his first career pin in the second period as the Sun Devils regained the lead, 12-6. Maruca starting the heart of the order, Josh Shields (157) followed with a 6-1 decision vs. Colt Shorts, Cal Poly's sole ranked wrestler.
Anthony (165) and Zahid Valencia (174) tacked on back-to-back pins, the former's in just 43 seconds, for their team-leading sixth pins of the season, as Arizona State took the largest lead of the afternoon, 27-6.
The Sun Devils allowed Cal Poly points at 184 and 197 but the match had already been decided after the first seven weight classes.
"We just came back from Iowa where it was -13 and it was a good time to toughen up. I think we looked a little flat after travel but I think these young kids, we have a lot of freshman and sophomores, they are out there competing and they are the hunters. They are excited that they actually get to wrestle in college now and [Cal Poly] was excited about coming in and trying to wrestle us. I think our young kids are going to start having a little bit of a bullseye and they will have to learn how to deal with that."
Tanner Hall held off Spencer Empey in the final match of the event with a 7-2 decision to pad the Sun Devil victory.
"It's like anything, each guy has areas they need to work on. Until we can shut a team out, we have got to get better. I think we have to finish better, we have to hand fight better, and we just have to be ready for a team that's trying to get tough with us and we have to get tough back."
As part of Arizona State's sustainability initiatives, each ticketed sport features a "Green" game this season and today's match marked the program's participating event in the series.
125 - Josh Kramer def. Isaac Blackburn, 4-2 dec (3-0 ASU)
133 - Ted Rico def. Yoshito Funakoshi, 8-6 dec (6-0 ASU)
141 - Colton Schilling def. Nikko Villarreal, pin 3:25 (6-6)
149 - #20 Josh Maruca def. Joshy Cortez, pin 4:13 (12-6 ASU)
157 - #14 Josh Shields def. #20 Colt Shorts, 6-1 dec (15-6 ASU)
165 - #9 Anthony Valencia def. Luke Wilson, pin :43 (21-6 ASU)
174 - #3 Zahid Valencia vs. Xavier Johnson, pin 3:36 (27-6 ASU)
184 -Mitch Woods def. Conner Small, 6-2 dec (27-9 ASU)
197 - J.T. Goodwin def. Austyn Harris, pin 1:15 (27-15 ASU)
HWT - #4 Tanner Hall def. Spencer Empey, 7-2 dec (30-15 ASU)