ATHENS, Ohio -- A run of five straight victories enabled Appalachian State's wrestling team to erase an early deficit and claim a dramatic 18-14 win at Ohio on Saturday.
App State (3-1) enjoyed a breakthrough victory against the Bobcats, who had won each of their last 11 meetings with the Mountaineers dating back to 1995. With the dual meet starting on a win at 141 pounds by Irvin Enriquez, Appalachian fell behind 9-3 but took an 18-9 lead into the final match thanks to three-point decisions from Forrest Przybysz (174), Alan Clothier (184), Randall Diabe (197), Cary Miller (heavyweight) and De'Andre Swinson-Barr (125).
Swinson-Barr, a true freshman from Fayetteville, picked up a huge first win of his college career to put Ohio (0-2) in an insurmountable hole with its nationally ranked 133-pound wrestler awaiting in the final match. Down 2-0, Swinson-Barr tied the match against Coleton Chase with a two-point near fall late in the second period, and he opened the third period with a quick escape. He earned a 7-2 decision thanks to a late takedown and his advantage in riding time.
App State had a 15-9 lead when Swinson-Barr took the mat thanks to a 2-1 decision from Diabe and a 3-1 decision from Miller.
Trailing 1-0 entering the third period, Miller tied the match with an escape and broke the tie with a takedown in the final 20 seconds against Zack Parker, an NCAA Championships qualifier in 2016-17.
Diabe opened the second period of his match with a one-point escape, and Ohio's Hunter Yeargan began the third period looking to do the same from the down position. Diabe never gave up an escape to Yeargan, moving to more than a minute of riding time with 43 seconds remaining in the match. Yeargan was awarded a point for an App State violation with 32 seconds left, but Diabe rode him out to claim a one-point victory thanks to the advantage in riding time.
App State's string of victories began with Przybysz taking a 6-1 decision and Clothier posting an 8-2 decision.
Przybysz erased a 1-0 deficit against Joe Terry with a two-point takedown and claimed control with a three-point near fall. That match cut App State's team deficit in half, and the Mountaineers pulled even at 9-all thanks to Clothier's victory against Dontae McGee.
Enriquez opened the match with an 11-6 decision against Alec Hagan at 141 pounds. Enriquez fell behind 4-1 and was trailing 4-3 when he gained a big advantage in riding time while preventing Hagen from escaping to close the second period. Enriquez began the third period with a tying escape from the down position and broke a 6-6 tie with an escape before he executed a takedown.
Redshirt freshman Thomas Flitz had a strong showing at 165 pounds against Austin Reese, who began the season as the top-ranked MAC wrestler at 165. Flitz tied the match at 2-all before Reese executed an escape and finished with a 4-2 decision thanks to riding time.
The Mountaineers return to action next Sunday, Dec. 10, to face No. 6 N.C. State at 3 p.m. in Varsity Gym.
Wrestling tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling the Appalachian State ticket office at 828-262-2079 or by going online to the App State Ticket Central link. For the N.C. State match, tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for youth.
The Wolfpack will be the highest-ranked opponent to visit Boone since No. 5 Missouri wrestled in Varsity Gym two seasons ago.
141: Irvin Enriquez (APP) def. Alec Hagen (OH), 11-6 dec. (3-0)
149: Kade Kowalski (OH) def. Gavin Londoff (APP), 4-2 dec. (3-3)
157: Cullen Cummings (OH) def. Angel Najar (APP), 11-6 dec. (3-6)
165: Austin Reese (OH) vs. Thomas Flitz (APP), 4-2 dec. (3-9)
174: Forrest Przybysz (APP) def. Joe Terry (OH), 6-1 dec. (6-9)
184: Alan Clothier (APP) def. Dontae McGee (OH), 8-2 dec. (9-9)
197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Hunter Yeargan (OH), 2-1 dec. (12-9)
HWT: Cary Miller (APP) def. Zack Parker (OH), 3-1 dec. (15-9)
125: De'Andre Swinson-Barr (APP) def. Coleton Chase (OH), 7-2 dec. (18-9)
133: Cameron Kelly (OH) def. Codi Russell (APP), 22-5 tech. fall (18-14)