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CSU Bakersfield knocks off Fresno State

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The CSU Bakersfield wrestling team put forth its most complete match of the season on Sunday, dominating the 25th-ranked Fresno State Bulldogs en route to a 26-10 win at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The Roadrunners won seven of the dual's ten bouts, including major decision victories from Dominic Ducharme and Russell Rohlfing, to pick up their second consecutive win and even their overall record at 4-4.

"Today we wrestled as well as well have all year," said CSUB Head Coach Manny Rivera. "We have been talking to our guys about how the most passionate and aggressive wrestler usually wins. They wrestled with a great attitude and a great approach today and got the result they deserved."

The `Runners led by a score of 19-10 when Ducharme took the mat at 197, needing only a three-point win to ice the meet for Bakersfield. Ducharme left little doubt, racing out to a four-point first period lead. He added a reversal and four nearfall points in the second to set up an anti-climactic third and final frame. Ducharme's final margin of victory was 13-0 and included over three minutes of ride time.

"That was Dom's best performance in close to a month," said Rivera. "He embraced the role of closer and put his match away quickly today. He dominated his guy and that is a great sign for us."

Rohlfing, the #26 wrestler at 149 per TrackWrestling.com posted his second-straight major decision win. He scored a takedown in each period and jumped out to a commanding 7-0 lead, before allowing an escape due to an illegal hold midway through the final period to Fresno State's #30 Greg Gaxiola. Gaxiola's point snapped Rohlfing's run of eight straight periods without being scored upon. His last point against was on Jan. 2 at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Alex Hernandez-Figueroa won by forfeit at 125, when the Bulldogs choose not to send a wrestler to the mat, and gave CSUB an early 6-0 lead.

Fresno State would then win the first two contested bouts, taking 7-6 lead when Gary Joint beat #26 Chance Rich at 133 and Lawrence Saenz held on for a 6-3 decision over Angelo Martinoni at 141.

Momentum swung in the Bakersfield's favor when Wyatt Gerl followed Rohlfing's dominating win with a hard-fought 3-2 decision over FSU's #17 Jacob Wright at 157.

After a scoreless first, Gerl took control when, for the second-straight outing, he was able to ride his opponent for the entire middle stanza. His dominant ride proved critical when he found himself trailing midway through the third. Wright, hoping for a takedown to win and avoid overtime, allowed Gerl to escape and tie the score at 2-2. Wright's takedown would never come to fruition and the ride time point gave Gerl his first win over a ranked opponent in his Roadrunner career.

"Wyatt's win was pivotal," Rivera said. "He stepped up and changed the momentum for us today against an opponent he knows well. He really wanted that win today and he went out there and took it."

Jacob Thalin and Albert Urias then added consecutive wins to set the table for Ducharme's clinching win.

Thalin fell behind early in the first when he conceded a takedown to Bulldog Ricky Padilla but was clean the rest of the match, adding four nearfall points and an escape to win 5-2 in the 165 lb bout.

Urias scored three key escapes to outlast Fresno State's Adam Kemp at 174, 7-4. He held a narrow one-point lead in the third, before he simply wore down his Bulldog opponent shoving him to the mat for his second takedown.

Jarrod Snyder collected CSUB's final victory, when he tossed FSU's Danny Salas to the ground with just three seconds remaining in the sudden victory period. It was the senior's second-straight overtime win and his third of the season.

The win was CSUB's first win over a ranked opponent since last year's Feud on the Field, when they also knocked off the 25th-ranked Bulldogs.

The `Runners return to action on Friday, Feb. 7 when they begin Pac-12 competition against Oregon State at 7 p.m.

Results:
125: Alejx Hernandez-Figueroa (CSUB) over (Fre) (For.)
133: Gary Joint (Fre) over Chance Rich (CSUB) (MD 8-0)
141: Lawrence Saenz (Fre) over Angelo Martinoni (CSUB) (Dec 6-3)
149: Russell Rohlfing (CSUB) over Greg Gaxiola (Fre) (MD 10-2)
157: Wyatt Gerl (CSUB) over Jacob Wright (Fre) (Dec 3-2)
165: Jacob Thalin (CSUB) over Ricky Padilla (Fre) (Dec 5-2)
174: Albert Urias (CSUB) over Adam Kemp (Fre) (Dec 7-4)
184: Hunter Cruz (Fre) over Josh Loomer (CSUB) (Dec 2-1)
197: Dom Ducharme (CSUB) over Isaiah Perez (Fre) (MD 13-0)
285: Jarrod Snyder (CSUB) over Danny Salas (Fre) (SV-1 3-1)

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