LEXINGTON, Va. -- A pair of Cenzo Pelusi decisions at 285 pounds sealed two Franklin & Marshall dual victories on Saturday in Lexington. The Diplomats fought back to down VMI by a narrow 19-17 tally before winning two of the three final matches in a 22-16 win over Davidson in the nightcap.
The Diplomats got off on the right foot for their dual-meet schedule, opening at 2-0 on year.
A pin at 125 pounds put F&M in an early 6-0 hole against VMI. The Diplomats were quick to respond with Nick Tewell's dominant 9-1 major at 133 pounds that saw the first-year pick up six near-fall points in the bout. Wil Gil kept the momentum rolling with a 4-1 decision that put F&M in front at 7-6.
A narrow win in sudden victory at 149 pounds once again put the Keydets ahead at 9-7, but the Diplomats responded with back-to-back 8-1 decisions from Noah Chan (157 pounds) and Emmett LiCastri (165 pounds) that gave the Diplomats a four-point lead in the team score.
The 174-pound match saw VMI roll to a commanding 25-0 tech. fall score and follow with an 8-3 decision at 184 pounds that gave the Keydets a 17-13 advantage.
Ethan Seeley came up with a clutch 4-0 decision at 197 pounds after securing a first-period takedown that pulled F&M within one of the team score. Pelusi (285 pounds) also recorded a first-period takedown in the deciding matchup and added two more in the third for a crucial 9-5 decision that handed the Diplomats a comeback win.
In the nightcap against Davidson, 125-pounder Jack Bruce got F&M off to a strong start with a 5-4 decision, winning his bout after being awarded a riding-time point. A Davidson pin at 133 pounds and a 7-3 decision at 141 pounds put the Wildcats ahead at 9-3 before the Diplomats rattled off three-consecutive wins to claim a 15-9 edge.
Gil opened the run with a first-period fall (0:29) at 149 pounds before Chan and LiCastri added decisions of 7-5 and 5-2, respectively.
Each team traded wins in the next three matches with the Diplomats coming away with a 10-1 major win by Geoff Magin at 184 pounds that included three takedowns.
The Wildcats kept the score close with a 14-1 major of their own at 197 pounds that made it a 19-16 contest heading into the final bout, but Pelusi once again came through in the clutch. He notched four takedowns in his battle, including a pair in the final frame for the 9-5 decision victory.
F&M returns to the mats next Sunday, Nov. 24th, traveling to Penn for the annual Keystone Classic tournament.
F&M 19, VMI 17
125: John McGarry (VMI) over Jack Bruce (F&M) (Fall 5:55)
133: Nick Tewell (F&M) over Cliff Conway (VMI) (MD 9-1)
141: Wil Gil (F&M) over Dom Gallo (VMI) (Dec 4-1)
149: Job Chishko (VMI) over Brett Kulp (F&M) (SV-1 6-4)
157: Noah Chan (F&M) over Will Lawrence (VMI) (Dec 8-1)
165: Emmett LiCastri (F&M) over Jon Hoover (VMI) (Dec 8-1)
174: Neal Richards (VMI) over Crew Fullerton (F&M) (TF 25-10 7:00)
184: Max Gallahan (VMI) over Geoff Magin (F&M) (Dec 8-3)
197: Ethan Seeley (F&M) over Zach Brown (VMI) (Dec 4-0)
285: Cenzo Pelusi (F&M) over Robbie Adelstein (VMI) (Dec 9-5)
F&M 22, Davidson 16
125: Jack Bruce (F&M) over Anthony Rautmann (DAVI) (Dec 5-4)
133: Kyle Gorant (DAVI) over Nick Tewell (F&M) (Fall 2:14)
141: David Loniewski (DAVI) over Brett Kulp (F&M) (Dec 7-3)
149: Wil Gil (F&M) over Will Baldwin (DAVI) (Fall 0:29)
157: Noah Chan (F&M) over Hunter Costa (DAVI) (Dec 7-5)
165: Emmett LiCastri (F&M) over Noah Satterfield (DAVI) (Dec 5-2)
174: Steven Newell (DAVI) over Crew Fullerton (F&M) (Dec 5-1)
184: Geoff Magin (F&M) over Lachlan Rosato (DAVI) (MD 10-1)
197: Conor Fenn (DAVI) over Ethan Seeley (F&M) (MD 14-1)
285: Cenzo Pelusi (F&M) over Mitchell Trigg (DAVI) (Dec 9-5)