LANCASTER, Pa. -- Sunday wasn't for the faint of heart in Mayser gymnasium as Franklin & Marshall split a pair of memorable Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) doubleheaders.
The Diplomats (4-3, 1-2 EIWA) dropped a heartbreaking 18-17 match to Sacred Heart that was decided by the third tiebreaker criteria, before toppling Brown by a 21-19 score. The triumph over the Bears marked F&M's first win in the series since the 1964-65 season and snapped a 24-match winless streak against Brown.
Against Sacred Heart, the match began at 174 pounds and saw the Pioneers storm ahead by an 11-0 tally after the 197-pound contest. Cenzo Pelusi (285 pounds) stole the momentum with a thunderous takedown in the first tiebreaker period to claim a 4-2 decision and get the Diplomats on the scoreboard.
Jose Diaz followed at 125 pounds with a clutch 11-8 decision to make the team score 11-6 before Sacred Heart extended the advantage back to 14-6 with a decision at 133 pounds. F&M continued to fight back as Wil Gil delivered a huge 20-4 tech. fall at 141 pounds to pull the Diplomats within three.
Each team traded decisions to make it a 17-14 contest heading into the final matchup at 165 pounds. Emmett LiCastri came through for F&M, earning an 8-3 decision and tying the overall score at 17-17. However, the tiebreaker came down to the third criteria (Total match points scored only from decisions, major decisions, and technical falls) and favored the Pioneers by a slim 65-64 margin.
Against Brown, F&M got off to a quick start with Diaz's second win of the day, a 7-5 decision at 125 pounds. A Bears' major at 133 temporarily put a hold on F&M's momentum before Gil answered at 141 with a commanding pin at 5:35.
Brown once again brought the overall score within one at 9-8 with an 8-0 major at 149 pounds, but Noah Chan's 12-6 decision, followed by a key pin by LiCastri at 3:48 extended the Diplomat lead to 18-8 with four matches remaining.
Three straight wins by Brown, including a pair of majors, gave the Bears a 19-18 lead heading into the final bout of the night. Pelusi led the 285-pound matchup by one after the first period and picked up an escape in the second to pull ahead 2-0. A momentous takedown in the third helped stave off a late escape from Brown as Pelusi prevailed with a 4-2 decision to seal the team score for F&M.
The Diplomats continue their homestand on Thursday, Jan. 30th with a contest against Bucknell at 8:00 p.m. in Masyer.
SHU 18, F&M 17 - SHU Wins on third tiebreaker criteria (65-64)
174: Joe Accousti (SAHE) over Crew Fullerton (F&M) (Dec 4-1)
184: Kyle Davis (SAHE) over Jimmy Stillerman (F&M) (MD 17-6)
197: Robert Hetherman (SAHE) over Ethan Seeley (F&M) (MD 12-2)
285: Cenzo Pelusi (F&M) over Connor Fredericks (SAHE) (TB-1 4-2)
125: Jose Diaz (F&M) over Sean Faraon (SAHE) (Dec 11-7)
133: Anthony Petrillo (SAHE) over Jack Bruce (F&M) (Dec 8-2)
141: Wil Gil (F&M) over Gerard Daly (SAHE) (TF 20-4 3:58)
149: Anthony Petrillo (SAHE) over Cristiaan Dailey (F&M) (Dec 6-2)
157: Cole Aaron (F&M) over William Schmidt (SAHE) (Dec 8-2)
165: Emmett LiCastri (F&M) over Brandon Levesque (SAHE) (Dec 8-3)
F&M 21, Brown 19
125: Jose Diaz (F&M) over Reese Fry (BROW) (Dec 7-5)
133: Charlie Faber (BROW) over Jack Bruce (F&M) (MD 17-4)
141: Wil Gil (F&M) over Samuel Lynch (BROW) (Fall 5:35)
149: Ricky Cabanillas (BROW) over Cristiaan Dailey (F&M) (MD 8-0)
157: Noah Chan (F&M) over Jack Bokina (BROW) (Dec 12-6)
165: Emmett LiCastri (F&M) over Kiran Srikanth (BROW) (Fall 3:48)
174: Bryce Rogers (BROW) over Crew Fullerton (F&M) (MD 15-4)
184: Brandon Kui (BROW) over Reid Robilotto (F&M) (Dec 5-2)
197: Nino Bastianelli (BROW) over Ethan Seeley (F&M) (MD 15-5)
285: Cenzo Pelusi (F&M) over James Valentino (BROW) (Dec 4-2)