Posted: 01/20/2012 | Last updated: January 20, 2012 at 09:26 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – No. 15 Lehigh won seven bouts, including three bonus point victories as the Mountain Hawks downed No. 24 Rutgers 26-9 Friday night in the annual Billy Sheridan Memorial Dual at Stabler Arena. Freshman Mason Beckman and senior Zach Rey posted wins by major decision to lead the Mountain Hawks, who moved to 7-4 on the dual season, and 3-1 against EIWA opponents.
After losing the opening bout of the night, the Mountain Hawks posted four consecutive impressive victories to take a 13-3 lead into intermission.
“We wrestled well,” said Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro. “Rutgers is a good team and has been for a few years now. They had some guys out. We had some guys out, which is unfortunate for our sport at this time of year. We wrestled hard and fought hard, which you need to do against a conference rival.”
Beckman got things started for the Mountain Hawks with a 14-6 major decision over Joe Langel at 133. The freshman totaled five takedowns, including three in the third period and added a third period reversal to break open what was a 5-4 match.
Sophomore Steve Dutton continued the momentum with an 8-2 decision over Billy Ashnault at 141. Dutton led 3-0 after two periods before he earned a third period reversal, and a takedown, falling just short of what would’ve been Lehigh’s second consecutive bonus win.
Rutgers (11-2, 4-1 EIWA) was without the services of No. 6 Mario Mason at 149, and freshman Anthony Salupo was impressive in a 6-1 victory over Mason’s backup Anthony Perrotti. Salupo scored two first period takedowns to build an early 4-1 lead and added a pair of escapes.
Senior Brian Tanen closed out the four match run, scoring a third period takedown to break a 1-1 tie in a 4-1 win over Anthony Volpe at 157.
In the first two bouts of the second half of the dual, the Scarlet Knights crept back into the mix with a pair of close wins by their two ranked wrestlers. No. 14 Scott Winston scored a late four-point move to edge senior Sean Bilodeau 5-1 at 165, while 17th-ranked Jeff Zannetti won 3-2 over freshman Nate Brown, with the deciding point coming from an escape after Brown used an injury timeout due to cramping.
Junior Robert Hamlin posted a six-point win for the Brown and White after winning by injury default over Dan Seidenberg at 184. Seidenberg appeared to injure his shoulder while sprawling on the edge of the mat and defaulted just 1:36 into the contest.
Leading 19-9 after Hamlin’s win senior Kadeem Samuels clinched the dual for the Mountain Hawks with a 6-4 win over Dan Rinaldi at 197. The wrestlers traded first period takedowns, and Samuels countered his way into the decisive score late in the third period.
“It was difficult,” Samuels said of the late scramble. “I shot. I think he re-shot. He got in deep on my leg and I had to really sprawl. I tried to spin behind but I thought he was going to go through. I threw my hip into the mat and was able to grab the ankle and come around to get the takedown. It was just hard work.”
Rey closed out the dual with a dominant 15-5 major decision over Carl Buchholz at heavyweight, as the defending national champion broke open a close bout with three second period takedowns, and then continued to add to his lead with a penalty point and late third period score.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the mats on Saturday when they host Bucknell at 2 p.m. inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Tickets can be purchased online at Lehighsports.com or prior to the match Saturday inside Grace Hall.
Lehigh 26, Rutgers 9
125 – Vincent Dellafave (Rutgers) dec. Alex Abreu (Lehigh) 5-2
133 – Mason Beckman (Lehigh) major dec. Joe Langel (Rutgers) 14-6
141 – Steve Dutton (Lehigh) dec. Billy Ashnault (Rutgers) 8-2
149 – Anthony Salupo (Lehigh) dec. Anthony Perrotti (Rutgers) 6-1
157 – Brian Tanen (Lehigh) dec. Anthony Volpe (Rutgers) 4-1
165 – Scott Winston (Rutgers) dec. Sean Bilodeau (Lehigh) 5-1
174 – Greg Zannetti (Rutgers) dec. Nate Brown (Lehigh) 3-2
184 – Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) injury default Dan Seidenberg (Rutgers) 1:36
197 – Kadeem Samuels (Lehigh) dec. Dan Rinaldi (Rutgers) 6-4
285 – Zach Rey (Lehigh) major dec. Carl Buchholz (Rutgers) 15-5
Attendance – 2,007
Referee – Gary Kessel