UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 15 Lehigh and No. 6 Penn State split ten bouts on but two key pins propelled the host Nittany Lions to a 21-17 win over the Mountain Hawks in 99th meeting between the rivals Sunday afternoon at Rec Hall. Sophomore Robert Hamlin upset third-ranked Quentin Wright 4-3 at 184, but Nittany Lion pins at 141 and 157 sent Lehigh to its first loss of the dual season. The Mountain Hawks are now 2-1.
“It’s a tough way to lose,” said Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro. “I thought we wrestled hard but maybe weren’t ready every match. We gave up three early takedowns. They came firing after us. We put ourselves in some situations we shouldn’t have been in. It came down to bonus points and they got two sixes while we only got two fours.”
Penn State captured the first bout of the dual as Frank Martellotti won an 11-6 decision over senior Mitch Berger at 125, but freshman Frank Cagnina responded for Lehigh with his third straight win by major decision as he downed Bryan Pearsall 12-3 at 133. After a scoreless first period, Cagnina reversed Pearsall in the second and added a two point near fall to lead 4-1 after two. Cagnina opened the third period with another two-point near fall and added two more takedowns in the third period to improve to 3-0 on the season with all three wins by major decision.
The first of the Nittany Lions two pins came at 141 where Andrew Alton prevailed in a battle of true freshmen over Lehigh’s Stephen Dutton. Alton scored the first takedown, and Dutton reverse, but after a series of moves, Alton threw a headlock and pinned Dutton in 1:21.
Sophomore Joey Napoli put Lehigh within two at 9-7 with a 6-4 decision over James English at 149, but at 157, freshman David Taylor pinned Sean Bilodeau in the second period to send Penn State into intermission with a 15-7 lead.
Junior Brandon Hatchett tried to get Lehigh going at 165 but was unable to score a takedown in a 3-1 sudden victory loss to Jake Kemerer. Hatchett had the two best shots of the first period but could not score, and Kemerer took Hatchett down in the opening seconds of sudden victory to extend Penn State’s lead.
A pair of highly touted second-year freshmen matched up at 174 with Austin Meys meeting Ed Ruth. Meys scored first for Lehigh but Ruth answered late in the period to lead 3-2. Ruth then added a reversal and takedown in the second period and held on to win 7-5.
Hamlin began a stretch of three Lehigh wins to end the dual with his 4-3 win over Wright. The Penn State All-American was awarded a takedown on the edge on a scramble, but Hamlin escaped off the ensuing restart to trail 2-1 after one period. Hamlin tied the score with a second period escape and then converted a takedown of his own to lead 4-2. A third period escape from Wright made it 4-3, but Hamlin was able to preserve the win with solid defense and good conditioning.
“Robert had a big win,” Santoro explained. “That was great for him. He’s just a goer. He keeps charging along.”
Junior Joe Kennedy gave Lehigh its second bonus win of the dual with an 8-0 win over Justin Ortega at 197. Kenned scored the only takedown of the match in the second period, but added a three-point near fall in the third plus an escape, riding time and a penalty point for stalling.
At heavyweight, junior Zach Rey needed overtime, but on the strength of two reversals defeated Cameron Wade 4-2. Rey reversed Wade in the second period and led 2-1 after two, but an escape from Wade in the third tied the match. After a scoreless sudden victory period, Rey reversed Wade in the first tiebreaker period and rode the Nittany Lion out in the second period.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the mat on Friday night when they welcome the 18th-ranked Michigan Wolverines to Stabler Arena. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME or by logging on to Lehighsports.com.
Penn State 21 Lehigh 17
125 – Frank Martellotti (PSU) dec. Mitch Berger (LU) 11-6
133 – Frank Cagnina (LU) maj. dec. Bryan Pearsall (PSU) 12-3
141 – Andrew Alton (PSU) Fall Stephen Dutton (Lehigh) 1:21
149 – Joey Napoli (LU) dec. James English (PSU) 6-4
157 – David Taylor (PSU) Fall Sean Bilodeau (LU) 3:33
165 – Jake Kemerer (PSU) dec. Brandon Hatchett (LU) 3-1, s.v.
174 – Ed Ruth (PSU) dec. Austin Meys (LU) 7-5
184 – Robert Hamlin (LU) dec. Quentin Wright (PSU) 4-3
197 – Joe Kennedy (LU) maj. dec. Justin Ortega (PSU) 8-0
285 – Zach Rey (LU) dec. Cameron Wade (PSU) 4-2, t.b.
Referee – Joe Tauber
Attendance – 5,257