TIFFIN – On senior night for the Heidelberg University wrestling team, the Student Princes fell in a close 18-15 dual with the University of Mount Union. The difference in the match turned out to be one pin by the Purple Raiders, as each of the other nine bouts ended in a decision.
Heidelberg fell to 6-10 on the season, including 2-2 in OAC duals while Mount Union improved to 12-8 (3-1 OAC).
Starting off the match at 125, Tyler Price took on Nick Mancini of Mount Union. Price got in on a big double leg shot early on and earned the takedown right away for the 2-0 lead. After nearly working Mancini on his back, Price allowed an escape. The two wrestled out the remainder of the first period without any more scoring, as Price led 2-1. Starting the second period on top, Price gave up an early escape by his own discretion to knot up the score at two. Mancini then countered with a takedown of his own to take the lead. Price earned an escape shortly thereafter as they ended the period with Mancini leading 4-3. A neutral start to the third period saw Price take multiple shots, but he was unable to do any scoring as he fell by a 4-3 decision.
Brandon Conrad took to the mat at 133 for the Berg and fell victim to a take down early on, then quickly ran into trouble but worked out of it without allowing back points, working his way back to neutral for the escape. He gave up another take down with just under a minute to go in the period as it ended with him trailing 4-1. Conrad began the second period on the bottom and was ridden out through the entire two minutes. Beginning the final period on top, Conrad allowed a quick escape to make it a 5-1 deficit. Another take down for the Purple Raiders made it 7-1, but Conrad was given an escape with about a minute left. Conrad wrestled out the rest of the period without any scoring, falling by an 8-2 decision due to riding time.
At 141, Justin Kihn faced a tall task in 9th-ranked Jeremy Border, but looked comfortable early, as he went in on a double leg shot and nearly earned the takedown, but the referee called a stalemate with no score. Kihn attempted the same move again and was almost able to score, but was driven out of bounds to keep the bout scoreless. Once again, Kihn landed a double leg shot with less than 30 seconds to go, but this time he capitalized, earning the takedown for the 2-0 lead at the end of the period. Kihn began the second period on top and gave up the quick escape to make it two to one. After a bit of neutral wrestling, Kihn picked up another takedown, and quickly gave up an escape to make it a 4-2 lead. The remainder of the period saw no scoring as Kihn took his lead to the final period. Kihn started the third period on the bottom and picked up a late escape, holding on at the end for the big 5-3 upset after riding time was applied.
Damon Cheek faced Seth McCurdy at 149 with no scoring in the opening period. Cheek chose to start the second period on the bottom and wasted no time earning an escape in the first 10 seconds. He later capitalized on a shot and earned the takedown to extend his lead to 3-0. He rode out the remainder of the period, preserving his lead entering the third period. McCurdy chose a neutral start to the third period, but that did not work in his favor as Cheek earned a relatively quick takedown, giving up an escape after nearly earning near fall points. It didn't take long for Cheek to return him to the mat, getting another take down before allowing an escape to make it a 7-2 lead. A late shot attempt earned a takedown for cheek, but he gave up an escape at the end to win a 10-3 decision.
In the 157-pound bout, Mark Carosella kept things going for the Berg with a takedown just under a minute into the opening period, but gave up the reversal to tie up the score. Carosella nearly worked his way up before the end of the period, but his attempt put him in a bad spot, as he was pinned in 2:53.
After a brief intermission, Aaron Banko got things started again at 165, taking on Tony Rupert of Mount Union. Banko opened the scoring a little over a minute in, earning the takedown after a single leg shot. He was able to ride out the remainder of the period, taking his 2-0 lead to the second. Starting the second period on the bottom, Banko earned a late escape to take a 3-0 lead to the final period. With a neutral start to the third period, Banko gave up a very late take down as well as near fall points and ended up falling by a 6-3 decision.
Darren Decker wrestled at 174 for the Student Princes and gave up an early takedown to fall behind 2-0. He earned an escape quickly after that, and the rest of the period saw no scoring as Decker trailed 2-1. Starting the second period on top, Decker allowed an early escape, but was returned to the mat late in the period. He was able to earn a reversal right after the takedown, making it a 5-3 deficit entering the final period. Decker began the third period on the bottom and immediately earned the escape and quickly turned that into t a takedown for the lead. Decker then gave up a reversal, as he fell behind 7-6. He earned the escape to tie things up with just under a minute left, and neither was able to score in the remainder as they entered overtime. Decker earned the takedown about 40 seconds into the first overtime period to come away with a 9-7 win.
Dillen Decker then wrestled at 184 against Connor Rogers with the Berg trailing by six on the team score. Decker started the scoring for the bout about a minute and a half in, earning the takedown for the 2-0 lead. He rode out the rest of the period to take that lead into the second. Starting the second period on top, Decker gave up an escape just under a minute into the period. No more scoring occurred in the period as Decker kept his 2-1 lead into the final frame. He began the third period on bottom, Decker picked up an escape about 30 seconds in. Rogers put together a fury of late shots, but Decker wrestled out with no score to hold on for his win by a 4-1 decision.
At 197, Gage Finegan took on Aaron Page of the Purple Raiders with HU now just trailing 15-12. After a scoreless opening period, Finegan opened the second on the bottom. Page was able to ride out the entire period as the bout remained scoreless going to the final period. Finegan started the third on top and gave up a quick escape to fall behind. A late shot attempt by Finegan was not enough, as he fell by a 2-0 decision after riding time was applied.
John Eckroth wrestled in the final bout of the night at 285 for the Student Princes. Neither side was able to score in the opening period, as Eckroth chose to go on the bottom to start the second. After a little over a minute, Eckroth battled for the reversal for a 2-0 lead. He gave up an escape late in the period to take a 2-1 lead to the final period. Eckroth gave up an escape for a neutral start to the period, but he picked up a takedown less than 30 seconds in. After allowing another escape, he once again picked up a takedown to make his lead 6-3, shortly thereafter giving up another escape to make it 6-4. The quick scoring continued with another takedown from Eckroth, but he allowed another escape in search for the pin. With under 10 seconds to go, he recorded one more escape and finished off the win by a 10-5 decision, but it was not enough for the Berg as they fell by a final match score of 18-15.
Heidelberg will have this weekend off from competition before heading to Baldwin Wallace on Tuesday for their final Ohio Athletic Conference dual of the season.