No. 13 Pitt rallies for 24-9 win over No. 17 Lehigh in Mountain Hawks’ opener

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PITTSBURGH – The Lehigh wrestling team, making their first appearance on the mats since March 7, 2020, got off to a strong start in their doubles opener at Pitt # 13, a pin from Junior Jaret Lane’s first period the Mountain Hawks took an early lead in 17th place and Lehigh was leading 9-6 after four fights, but the Panthers won the last six fights to take a 24-9 victory at Fitzgerald Field House on Saturday.

A number of highly competitive games went the Panthers’ way as Lane’s fall was the dual’s only bonus point win. Lehigh drops a prelude to a brace for the fourth time in Pat Santoro’s 13 seasons, while Pitt improves to 2-0 in the young season.

Lane faced Colton Camacho in Lehigh’s first fight of the season. Camacho scored the first takedown, but Lane turned back and got to work. Finally, he used an arm bar to rotate Camacho for near fall points before repositioning himself for his 12th career fall.

Five Mountain Hawks made two first appearances in their careers, including three deferred newbies and two real newbies.

At the age of 133, newcomer Malyke Hines took over fourth-placed Micky Phillippi. Hines was the attacker early on with the two best shots of the first period, including a takedown to lead 2-1 to one, but Phillippi came back with one takedown in the second period and three in the third to score 5-10 win and get pitt on the board.

The Panthers tied the dual 6: 6 when Cole Matthews finished 14th in the newcomer Connor McGonagle 4: 3 against 141. An exchange in the third period was considered an abolition for Matthews, followed by a McGonagle reversal. Matthews escaped to take a 4-3 lead on the restart and held on from there.

Junior Jimmy Hoffman brought Lehigh back into the lead with a 4-0 decision against Luke Kemerer (149). Hoffman scored a takedown late in the first half, escaped in the second, and rode out in the third to give the Mountain Hawks the lead.

Pitt’s run started at 157 when Tyler Badgett’s sophomore year defeated JT Cooley 6-1 to tie the dual 9-9 at halftime.

Ninth-placed Jake Wentzel put Pitt in the lead with a 3-0 decision against real newcomer Thayne Lawrence (165). After a goalless first phase, Wentzel returned early in the second phase and drove out the only points of the game with these two points plus driving time.

The Panthers extended their lead at 174 when Jared McGill beat newcomer Jake Logan 4-2. McGill scored a takedown in the first period and added an escape in the second period plus riding time, while Logan scored a takedown late in the third.

Pitt rose 18-9 when 18th Gregg Harvey won a 4-1 decision against newcomer JT Davis with 184. The solitary mining took place late in the first period.

The only fight that matched the ranked wrestlers was 197, when the fifth Nino Bonaccorsi scored a takedown in each period to defeat the 15th senior Jake Jakobsen 7-2.

In the final heavyweight doubles fight, Junior Victor Lacombe recorded the regulation’s only defeat, but a 1:01 driving time advantage for Jake Slinger resulted in a 3-3 overtime tie. In a sudden win, Slinger took Lacombe on his back for one takedown and four near fall to win 9-3.

The dual was followed by 10 additional matches, which are also part of a wrestler’s season record. Lehigh won four of the ten additional fights.

At 141, Senior Joe Lobeck defeated Ryan Michaels 9-3 after a strong first period in which he took a takedown and two points near falls and was leading 6-1 after three minutes.

True newbie Connor Herceg bounced back after giving up the first takedown to beat Tye Weathersby 6-5 at 165. Herceg broke a 4-4 draw with a takedown late in the third period.

Caden Wright also won his debut as a true freshman with a 4-0 decision against Nicholas Meglino at 184. Wright used a strong performance to get through the second period and escaped early in the third before taking a takedown in the final seconds added.

Sophomore Eli Jones won the last fight of the evening with 285 by defeating Cole Rickert 2-0.

The Mountain Hawks will be back on the road this coming weekend when they visit EIWA rival Navy on Saturday, January 16 at 6pm. The game will air on ESPN +.

No. 13 Pitt 24, No. 17 Lehigh 9
125 – Jaret Lane (Lehigh) case Colton Camacho (Pitt) 1:58
133 – Micky Phillippi (Pitt) dec. Malyke Hines (Lehigh) 10-5
141 – Cole Matthews (Pitt) dec. Connor McGonagle (Lehigh) 4-3
149 – Jimmy Hoffman (Lehigh) dec. Luke Kemerer (Pitt) 4-0
157 – Tyler Badgett (Pitt) dec. JT Cooley (Lehigh) 6-1
165 – Jake Wentzel (Pitt) dec. Thayne Lawrence (Pitt) 3-0
174 – Jared McGill (Pitt) dec. Jake Logan (Lehigh) 4-2
184 – Gregg Harvey (Pitt) dec. JT Davis (Lehigh) 4-1
197 – Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt) dec. Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh) 7-2
285 – Jake Slinger (Pitt) dec. Victor Lacombe (Lehigh) 9-3, sv
Additional games
125 – Colton Camacho (Pitt) dec. Sheldon Seymour (Lehigh) 7-4, tb1
133 – Louis Newell (Pitt) dec. Satoshi Abe (Lehigh) 5-1
141 – Joe Lobeck (Lehigh) dec. Ryan Michaels (Pitt) 9-3
149 – Mick Burnett (Pitt) dec. Paul Watkins (Lehigh) 8-6
157 – Antonio Petrucelli (Pitt) dec. Tyler Sung 6-3
165 – Connor Herceg (Lehigh) dec. Tye Weathersby (Pitt) 6-5
174 – Tommy O’Brien (Pitt) Trey Cornish (Lehigh) case 6:49
184 – Caden Wright (Lehigh) dec. Nicholas Meglino (Pitt) 4-0
197 – James Lledo (Pitt) main dec. Andrew Shedleski (Lehigh) 15-2
285 – Eli Jones (Lehigh) dec. Cole Rickert (Pitt) 2-0

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