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Pitt outlasts Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The 10th-ranked University of Pittsburgh wrestling team won seven bouts en route to its fifth win of the year over Maryland Friday night at the XFINITY Center.

With the win, the Panthers finish 2019 5-1 overall, while the Terrapins drop to 1-4.

Two Pitt wrestlers performances stood out in the team win in redshirt freshman Cole Matthews and redshirt junior Gregg Harvey. Matthews pinned his opponent in 6:53, while Harvey defeated No. 20 Philip Spadafora.

"It was a good match to head into our holiday break with," said head coach Keith Gavin. "Maryland wrestled hard and our guys got tested in some of those bouts."

Redshirt freshman Louis Newell got the Panthers on the board with a 7-2 decision at 125 pounds over Brandon Cray. After a scoreless opening frame, Newell started the second on bottom and scored an escape and takedown for the 3-0 lead. Moving to the third, Newell started on top and a Cray reversal would cut his lead to 3-2. However, Newel escaped and scored a takedown and added his final point with riding time en route to the win.

At 133 pounds, redshirt sophomore Micky Phillippi quickly fell behind to King Sandoval 6-0 early in the first. The fifth-ranked wrestler then escaped and scored a takedown to finish the first period. In the second, Phillippi started the second on bottom and escaped and scored a takedown to tie the match, 6-6. Phillippi started the third on top and received his final two points via stalling and riding time. With the win, Phillippi improves to 10-0 on the year.

Pitt jumped out to a 12-0 in the dual after Matthews pinned Hunter Baxter in 6:53 at 141 pounds. Matthews, who ranks 19th in the nation, led 2-1 at the end of the first and led 4-3 after two. In the third, Matthews started on bottom and escaped for a 5-3 lead. Baxter then scored a late takedown to tie it 5-5, but a reversal by Matthews would give him a 7-5 lead. Matthews then quickly got Baxter on his back to secure his second pin of the season.

Maryland got on the board after recording wins at 149 and 157 pounds, bringing the team score to 12-6 through the first five bouts.

Redshirt junior Jake Wentzel got things going for the Panthers again at 165 pounds after recording his fifth major decision of the year and 12 of his career. Wentzel, who ranks 12th in his weight class, jumped out to a 4-0 lead to open the first period after scoring a takedown and two nearfall. He started the second on bottom, where he escaped and earned a point off back-to-back stall warnings against Cochran. Wentzel picked up four nearfall points in the third and added his final point with riding time. The major decision boosted Pitt's lead to 16-6.

Harvey earned his first win over a ranked opponent this season, after outlasting 20th-ranked Philip Spadafora at 174 pounds. Harvey struck first in the opening frame with a takedown, but Spadafora escaped. In the second, Spadafora took the lead after an escape and takedown. Harvey began the third on bottom where he escaped to cut Spadafora's lead to 4-3. With time expiring, Harvey scored a takedown for the win. Harvey's win gave the Panthers a 19-6 lead in the team race.

At 184 pounds, redshirt sophomore Nino Bonaccorsi improved to 9-1 on the year after recording his fifth major decision of the year over Kyle Jasenski. Bonaccorsi led 6-2 at the end of the first and a reversal in the second would give him an 8-2 lead entering the final frame. The eighth-ranked 184-pounder started the third on top and Jasenski escaped. Bonaccorsi scored a final takedown in the third and added his final point with riding time to give the Panthers a 23-6 lead.

The Terrapins won what would be their last bout of the night after redshirt senior Kellan Stout fell to Jaron Smith at 197 pounds.

In the final bout of the night, senior Demetrius Thomas recorded his eighth win and third major decision of the year. The ninth-ranked heavyweight defeated Parker Robinson in a 10-1 major decision. Thomas opened the match with a quick takedown, and would remain in control for the remainder of the first period. He scored a takedown in the second, but added six points in the third to reach the major decision. The win boosted the final team score to 27-10.

The Panthers resume action in the New Year at the Southern Scuffle, Jan. 1-2, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Results:
125: Louis Newell (UP) dec. Brandon Cray (UM), 7-2 - Pitt leads 3-0
133: #5 Micky Phillippi (UP) dec. King Sandoval (UM), 8-6 - Pitt leads 6-0
141: #19 Cole Matthews (UP) pins Hunter Baxter (UM), 6:53 - Pitt leads 12-0
149: Michael Doetsch (UM) dec. Dallas Bulsak (UP), 2-0 - Pitt leads 12-3
157: Jahi Jones (UM) dec #11 Taleb Rahmani (UP), 3-2 - Pitt leads 12-6
165: #12 Jake Wentzel (UP) maj. dec. Kyle Cochran (UM), 11-0 - Pitt leads 16-6
174: Gregg Harvey (UP) dec. #20 Philip Spadafora (UM), 5-4 - Pitt leads 19-6
184: #8 Nino Bonaccorsi (UP) maj. dec. Kyle Jasenski (UM), 11-3 - Pitt leads 23-6
197: Jaron Smith (UM) maj. dec. Kellan Stout (UP), 9-0 - Pitt leads 23-10
285: #9 Demetrius Thomas (UP) maj. dec. Parker Robinson (UM), 10-1 - Pitt wins 27-10

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