Pitt cruises past CSU Bakersfield in season opener

PITTSBURGH -- The University of Pittsburgh wrestling team opened the 2018-19 season in dominant fashion Saturday night, taking down CSU Bakersfield, 32-4, at the Fitzgerald Field House.

The Panthers won all but one bout on the night, including three by a major decision and one by technical fall.

Pitt picked up back-to-back wins after freshman Brendon Fenton made his collegiate debut at 125 pounds. The 125-pounder won in a 5-3 decision over Alex Hernandez-Figuera. Redshirt freshman Micky Phillippi, who ranks 14th at 133 pounds, followed up with another win by a decision over No. 18 Sean Nickell, 7-4.

Senior LJ Bentley cruised to a 12-1 major decision at his new weight class of 141 pounds. Bentley previously competed at 125 pounds for the past three seasons. Bentley defeated Carlos Herrera to give the Panthers a 10-0 lead in the team race.

Pitt's lone loss of the night came at 149 pounds, as redshirt freshman Dallas Bulsak fell in a 17-3 major decision to Russell Rohlfing.

Moving to 157 pounds, 10th-ranked redshirt junior Taleb Rahmani picked up a major decision as he defeated Wyatt Gerl, 18-9, to give Pitt a 14-4 lead in the dual.

Redshirt sophomore Jake Wentzel recorded a solid win at 165 pounds as he defeated Jacob Thalin in a 6-2 decision.

The following bout at 174 pounds featured redshirt sophomore Gregg Harvey, who is down a weight class from the previous two years as he competed at 184 pounds. Harvey showed off at his new weight class as he turned in a 13-8 decision over Bryan Battisto, boosting the Panthers' lead to 20-4.

Redshirt freshman Nino Bonaccorsi also impressed in his debut match at 184 pounds, as he won in a 15-5 major decision.

Redshirt junior Kellan Stout continued Pitt's winning ways at 197 at he used a takedown and added a riding time point en route to the 3-0 decision.

In the final bout of the night, junior Demetrius Thomas capped off the dual with a statement win at heavyweight. Thomas recorded an 18-2 technical fall in 6:18 over Jacob Sieder.

The Panthers resume action Saturday, Nov. 17 when they host Northern Iowa at 3 p.m. at the Fitzgerald Field House.

125: Brendon Fenton (UP) dec. Alex Hernandez-Figuera (CSUB), 5-3 - Pitt leads 3-0
133: #14 Micky Phillippi (UP) dec. #18 Sean Nickell (CSUB), 7-4 - Pitt leads 6-0
141: LJ Bentley (UP) maj. dec. Carlos Herrera (CSUB), 12-1 - Pitt leads 10-0
149: Russell Rohlfing (CSUB) maj. dec. Dallas Bulsak (UP), 17-3 - Pitt leads 10-4
157: #10 Taleb Rahmani (UP) maj. dec. Wyatt Gerl (CSUB), 18-9 - Pitt leads 14-4
165: Jake Wentzel (UP) dec. Jacob Thalin (CSUB), 6-2 - Pitt leads 17-4
174: Gregg Harvey (UP) dec. Bryan Battisto (CSUB), 13-8 - Pitt leads 20-4
184: #16 Nino Bonaccorsi (UP) maj. dec. Dom Ducharme (CSUB), 15-5 - Pitt leads 24-4
197: Kellan Stout (UP) dec. Mark Penyacsek (CSUB), 3-0 - Pitt leads 27-4
285: Demetrius Thomas (UP) tech. fall Jacob Sieder (CSUB), 18-2, 6:18 - Pitt wins 32-4


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