Pitt-Johnstown wins 23rd regional title with 4 champs, 8 NCAA qualifiers

Pitt-Johnstown sent six wrestlers into the finals and came away with four champions and a total of eight NCAA national Tournament qualifiers on their way to winning to the 2019-20 NCAA Division II Super Region I Tournament title, Saturday at Mercyhurst University. Pitt-Johnstown, which claimed its 23 NCAA Regional championship and second straight under Head Coach Pat Pecora, finished with 147.5 points, 17 points better than second-place Gannon.

Pitt-Johnstown finished first with 147.5 points, while Gannon (130.5 pts.), Mercyhurst (116 pts.), Seton Hill (108 pts.), and East Stroudsburg (52.5 pts.) rounded out the Top-5 in the 11-team field.

Brendan Howard (125 lbs.), Jacob Ealy (141 lbs.), Chris Eddins (149 lbs.), and Brock Biddle (174 lbs.) all won individual championships, while Tyler Warner (133 lbs.) and Connor Craig (184 lbs.) were regional runners-up, and Devin Austin (165 lbs.) and Allan Beattie (285 lbs.) placed third to qualify for the National Tournament in Sioux Falls, SD on March 13-14.

Pitt-Johnstown also got a fourth-place finish from Alex Delp at 184 lbs. and a fifth-place finish from Jacob Burgette at 157 lbs.).

2019 All-American and top-seeded Brendan Howard received a first round bye, then won a 10-1 major decision over Alderson-Broaddus' Noah Hodges in the quarterfinals. Howard then reach the finals with a 6-2 decision over Seton Hill's Frank Bonura, before winning his second straight Regional Title with a 9-4 win over Jacob Dunlap (Gannon).

2019 National Champion and No. l seeded Tyler Warner picked pinned Mustafa Hamid (American International) and Bodee Tolbert (Shippensburg) in a combined 2:33 to advance to the semifinals, where he held off Seton Hill's Vincent Distefanis, 3-2. However, Kutztown's Collin Wick got a takedown in overtime Eddins, Christo upset Warner, 4-2 , in the title bout at 133 lbs.

Jacob Ealy, the No.1 seed at 141 lbs., opened with a bye and a 17-0 technical fall at 5:33 over East Stroudsburg's Matthew Rosa. In the semifinals, Ealy dealt Nick Young (Gannon) a 13-2 major decision loss, then won a regional championship as a true freshman with a 6-4 decision over Mercyhurst's Alexis Soriano.

Two-time National Champion Chris Eddins got a first round bye, then coasted into the finals with a 16-0 technical fall over Gannon's Nick Young and 4-0 decision over American International's Joel Morth. In the finals, Eddins scored an 8-0 major decision over Gannon's Dom Means to claim his third regional championship.

Jacob Burgette opened with a 9-6 win over Brandon Connor (Millersville), but suffered a 4-3 loss to Seton Hill's Logan McCoy in the quarterfinals. Burgette came back to defeat Mitchell Camp (Kutztown), 6-2 in the second round of the consolations and Alderson-Broaddus' Dalton Pearl, 3-1, in the consolation quarterfinals. However, Mercyhurst's Mike Clark won a 9-7 decision in the consolation semifinals. Burgette answered to place fifth when he defeated East Stroudsburg's Marquan Payne, 11-8.

Devin Austin, a two-time All-American, pinned Kutztown's Connor Rogovich at 1:50 in the first round and East Stroudsburg's Nick Weikel at 4:50 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Austin suffered a tough 7-5 sudden victory loss to Gannon's Alex Farenchak which sent him to the consolation semifinals where he reached the third-place match with a 3-2 decision over Alec Shaw (Seton Hill). Austin became a four-time national qualifier after an 8-3 decision over Jarrett Feeney (Millersville).

Returning All-American Brock Biddle got a first round bye and a 16-0 technical fall at 2:35 over Kutztown's Anthony Emig to secure a spot in the semifinals. Biddle followed with an 11-2 major decision over Brandon Matthews (Seton Hill) to set up a finals match with East Stroudsburg's Mike Raccioppi, the national No.1-ranked wrestler at 174 lbs. Biddle pulled off the upset and downed Raccioppi, 8-3, to win the championship at 174 lbs.

Connor Craig, a 2019 National Champion, eased into the semifinals with a 17-0 technical fall over Isaiah Collins (American International) in the opening round and a fall at 3:52 over Shippensburg's Austin Klucker in the quarterfinals. Craig was tested in the semis, but scored a 3-0 Sudden Victory 1 win over Joel Leise (Gannon). However, Elliot Riddick (East Stroudsburg) upset the defending national champion, 3-2, in the championship bout at 184 lbs.

Following a first round by, Alex Delp defeated Alexi Castro (Shippensburg), 8-3 in the quarterfinals, then lost a 9-2 decision to top-seeded Luke McGonigal (Mercyhurst). An 8-5 win over American International's Raul Martinez advanced Delp to the third-place match, where Seton Hill's Nathan Bowlen held off Delp, 10-6.

Allan Beattie got an opening round bye, but suffered a 7-2 loss to Josh Walls (Millersville) in the quarterfinals. Another bye in the second round of the consolations set up a matchup with Fairmont State's TJ Boyd in the consolation quarterfinals where he won a 4-1 decision over Fairmont State's T.J. Boyd. Beattie then pinned Shippensburg's Derek Berberick 2:01 into the first period to reach the third-place match, before qualifying for his first national tournament with an overtime takedown to knock off Seton Hill's Jacob Beistel, 3-1.

Team Scores
1 Pitt.-Johnstown 147.5
2 Gannon 130.5
3 Mercyhurst 116.0
4 Seton Hill 108.0
5 East Stroudsburg 52.5
6 Kutztown 46.0
7 Millersville 42.5
8 American Int`l 42.0
9 Shippensburg 41.0
10 Alderson Broaddus 28.0
11 Fairmont St. 9.0


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