BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- A second-period pin from Matt Zovistoski produced the strong start that App State wanted in its Southern Conference opener.
Zovistoski delivered the first of four pins for the Mountaineers, who earned bonus points in six of their eight wins and posted a 40-9 road victory at Gardner-Webb on Thursday night.
Julian Gorring, Cary Miller and Sean Carter also recorded wins by fall, with Gorring and Carter -- both true freshmen -- getting timely ones in the final 35 seconds of their matches. Thomas Flitz earned a major decision, Paul Carson avenged a recent loss with a seven-point victory, Bradley Irwin earned a hard-fought decision and Jonathan Millner closed the dual with a win by forfeit for the Mountaineers (2-2, 1-0).
With the dual beginning at 157 pounds, Zovistoski faced Taylor Parks a week after winning a 6-3 decision against him at the Southern Scuffle. Leading 2-0 after one period Thursday, Zovistoski executed a reversal and then pinned Parks midway through the second period.
Zovistoski became just the eighth wrestler in App State history to accumulate 90 career wins.
App State led 6-3 after RJ Mosley's 10-4 decision against Will Formato, and Flitz entered the third period against Samuel Mora at 174 pounds with a 6-0 lead before building a double-digit advantage. Gorring took a 7-2 lead with two-plus minutes of riding time into the third period at 184 pounds and pinned Christian Salter with 23 seconds left.
The Mountaineers increased their lead to 19-3 on Carson's 9-2 decision against Roderick Davis, who had pulled out a 4-3 win against Carson on a takedown in the closing seconds of their 197-pound match at the Southern Scuffle. Carson led 3-2 after one period Thursday, rode out Davis in the second period and broke the match open in the third, delivering a takedown with 41 seconds left.
Miller needed only 1:42 to pin fellow heavyweight Gabriel Pickett for his fifth win by fall of the season and the 27th pin of his career. Carter made it back-to-back pins by registering one with just 33 seconds left in his match against Michael Pappaconstantinou at 125 pounds.
Carter had a sizable riding time advantage while entering the third period with a 3-2 lead thanks to his ability to ride out the second period, and he dominated the third period before wrapping up the win with his second pin of the year.
Gardner-Webb posted a pin at 133 pounds before Irwin and Millner combined for nine points in their victories. Irwin used a takedown in the last 40 seconds of the first period to take the lead for good against Brandon Bright at 141 pounds, and he also rode out his opponent for the entire second period.
With the win by forfeit, Millner improved to 20-4 on the season.
The 2019-20 wrestling season for App State is presented by Hungry Howies, and the Mountaineers are back in action Sunday at Varsity Gym for a SoCon doubleheader against Presbyterian and Davidson.
The doubleheader begins at 2 p.m., and App State Wrestling alums who RSVP will be able to attend the annual Old Timers Match free of charge.
157: Matt Zovistoski (APP) def. Taylor Parks (GWU), fall (4:05)
165: RJ Mosley (GWU) def. Will Formato (APP), 10-4 dec.
174: Thomas Flitz (APP) def. Samuel Mora (GWU), 13-2 maj. dec.
184: Julian Gorring (APP) def. Christian Salter (GWU), fall (6:37)
197: Paul Carson (APP) def. Roderick Davis (GWU), 9-2 dec.
285: Cary Miller (APP) def. Gabriel Pickett (GWU), fall (1:42)
125: Sean Carter (APP) def. Michael Pappaconstantinou, fall (6:27)
133: Trevon Majette (GWU) def. Codi Russell (APP), fall (0:57)
141: Bradley Irwin def. Brandon Bright (GWU), 4-1 dec.
149: Jonathan Millner (APP) won by forfeit