December 9, 2009

Short-Handed Bears Lose In Home Opening Dual

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GREELEY, Colo. - Missing four wrestlers due to injuries, the Northern Colorado wrestling team debuted two freshmen and won only two bouts, falling to Ohio 33-7 in the team's home dual opener.

Senior Tony Mustari started the evening off with a major decision over Kyle Ciccarello, 13-2. Freshmen Zach Nash and Michael Balagna, both true freshmen then got their first taste of collegiate dual action and were pinned in 0:41 seconds each to give the Bobcats the 12-4 lead, which they never relinquished. Junior Rocco DePaolo lost a 9-3 decision at 149 pounds before the Bears got back on the board.

Junior Justin Gaethje, who had an amazing last weekend by finishing fourth at the Cliff Keen Invitational, won a thrilling 5-4 decision. Tied at 3-3 with 33 seconds remaining, Gaethje let Clay Tucker out with an optional escape, but was able to get a takedown with two ticks left for the win.

"It was exciting, but it was frustrating being that close," said Gaethje. "I liked it though, it was exciting to get the win."

Ohio won decisions at both 174 and 184 pounds and received six points because the Bears took a medical forfeit at 197 pounds. In the final bout of the night, Andy Hartshorn defeated Justin Tuell, 9-4 to give the Bobcats a 33-7 win.

"You don't want to make excuses," said Head Coach Ben Cherrington. "It's tough though when you have almost half your lineup out. We put two true freshmen in and hope they compete. I can't be mad at them, they went out there on short notice and did what they did. Just a tough night and our bottom line is the big guys have to learn win matches. Right now they don't know how to win close matches and that hurts them."

The Bears host fifth-ranked Minnesota on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Casey Cruz (133), Kenny Hashimoto (141), Justin Gonzales (149) and Ed Matthews (197) are listed as doubtful to compete.

125 - Tony Mustari (NC) maj. dec. Kyle Ciccarello, 13-2
133 -Quentin Keyes (Ohio), fall Zach Nash, 0:41
141 - Germane Lindsey (Ohio), fall Michael Balagna, 0:41
149 - Seth Morton (Ohio) dec. Rocco DePaolo, 9-3
157 - Justin Gaethje (NC) dec. Clay Tucker, 5-4
165 - Kevin Christiensen (Ohio) dec. Tanner Weiks, 4-0
174 - Jacob Ison (Ohio) dec. Brandon Kammerzell, 9-2
184 - Nick Purdue (Ohio) dec. Eric Brennan, 8-4
197 - Erik Schuth (Ohio) mfor
285 - Andy Hartshorn (Ohio) dec. Tuell, 9-4