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Flames Win Four to Take East Regional Duals
Liberty finished the one-day event with a perfect 4-0 record, followed by Duquesne and Millersville who finished tied for second with a 2-1-1 record.
Delaware State finished fourth in the field of five teams with a 1-3 record, while Gardner-Webb was winless on the afternoon at 0-4.
With the sweep on the afternoon, Liberty improves its dual match record to 10-9-1, which includes wins in seven of its last eight dual matches.
Liberty opened the day with a convincing 38-3 victory over defending East Regional Dual champion Duquesne, setting the tone for the event. Sean Katz began the dual with an 8-6 overtime victory over Jon Bittinger, scoring the first two points in the 125-pound match up.
However, that would be as close as the Dukes would get the rest of the match. The Flames convincing won six out of the next seven bouts, including a win by fall from Tim Harner at 141 pounds (5:59) and a technical fall victory by Chad Porter at 165 pounds (20-5).
Gardner-Webb opened its match-up with the Flames with decision victories at 125 and 133 pounds; however, Harner started a run of eight-straight wins by Liberty with a 17-2 technical fall win over Chas Franz at 141 pounds.
Scott Clymer kept things rolling for the Flames with another technical fall win, 16-0, over Jimmy Ballantyne at 149 pounds. Liberty wrapped up with 34-6 win over the Bulldogs with four decision wins and victories by fall from Porter at 165 (2:50) and Patrick Walker (1:52) at heavyweight.
Liberty opened the third round in different fashion, claiming victory in three out of the first five bouts by fall to open up an 18-6 lead over Delaware State. Katz pinned Tad Broomal at 6:08 (125 pounds), T.J. Mitchell pinned Kelvin Watford (1:59) at 133 and Josh Duren defeated Kyle Robinson with a win by fall (5:56) at 157 pounds.
Joseph Son added three points to Liberty's lead with an 11-7 decision win over Brandon Gardner at 165 pounds. Following a win by forfeit for Nick Knowles at 184 pounds, Walker wrapped up win with his second pin of the day at 5:32 over Eric Sewell at heavyweight.
Following a bye in the fourth round, Liberty wrapped up the afternoon sweep with a 38-10 victory over homestanding Millersville. As they did against the Hornets, Liberty took control of the match with Marauders by winning the first four bouts.
Katz opened with a 17-2 technical fall win over John Andel at 125 pounds, followed by a win by fall by Mitchell against Matt Leggett (2:26) at 133. Collin Lewis kept things rolling for Liberty with a narrow 3-2 decision over Mike Greek at 141 pounds, while Clymer staked the Flames to a 20-0 lead with a second-period fall (5:35) over Cody Becker.
Decisions by Porter at 165 pounds, 10-3, and Knowles at 184 pounds, 7-3, wrapped up Liberty's fourth-straight dual victory before the Marauders forfeited the final two bouts.
Knowles and Walker led the Flames on the day, with both grapplers finishing with a perfect 4-0 record. Knowles picked up three victories by decision at 184 pounds. Walker took two wins by fall and the other two by forfeit at heavyweight.
At 165 pounds, Porter also posted an unblemished record on the afternoon with a 3-0 record, including a win by fall and another by technical fall.
Rounding out Liberty's standouts were Katz at 125 pounds and Mitchell at 133 pounds. Katz was 3-1, including a win by technical fall, followed by Mitchell's 3-1 mark which included two wins by fall.
Liberty returns to Liberty Mountain on Tuesday evening, when they host UNC Greensboro and George Mason in a tri-match. The opening whistle for the evening will sound at 6 p.m. inside the Vines Center.
On March 9, Liberty will host the same four teams with the addition of Wagner for the NCAA East Regionals. Ten weight class winners on the day, plus a wild card wrestler, will punch their ticket for St. Louis, Mo., this site of this year's NCAA Wrestling National Championship.