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Flames Take Opening Three at Hoosier Duals
During Liberty's prior two trips to Bloomington, Ind., the Flames won a single dual in 2007, while taking two matches at last year's Hoosier Duals. With the trio of victories on the day, Liberty raises its dual meet record to 4-2 on the season.
The host, Hoosiers, was the most victorious team on the day. No. 11 Indiana dropped only 10 matchups, en route to five dual victories. Liberty, Northern Illinois and Chattanooga each finished the day with 3-2 records, followed by South Dakota State, who was 1-4, and Cumberlands, who was winless in five dual events.
Liberty opened the 9 a.m. session with a 27-17 victory over South Dakota State, giving the Flames back-to-back victories over the Jackrabbits at the Hoosier Duals.
South Dakota State's Aaron Pickrel got the Jackrabbits on the board with a 10-1 major decision over Jonathan Childress at 125 pounds. Joe Pantaleo followed and picked up one of three key technical fall wins for the Flames, defeating Tyler Johnson, 16-1, at 133 pounds.
Liberty never relinquished the lead the rest of the dual, picking up major decision wins by Scott Clymer at 141 pounds (13-5) and Frankie Gayeski at 149 pounds (13-4), to go along with technical fall wins by Chad Porter at 165 pounds (16-0) and Nick Knowles at 184 pounds (18-2) to secure the opening-session win.
In the second session, the Flames made it three in a row against Cumberlands at the Hoosier Duals, taking nine of 10 weight classes en route to a 47-6 dual victory.
After the Flames received a forfeit win at 125 pounds, Sean Katz picked up his fourth career win at the Duals in fine fashion, pinning Joey Morales with three ticks left on the clock in the opening period at 133 pounds.
The pin by Katz was the first of four for the Flames against the Patriots, as Sam Walters (149 pounds), Gayeski (157 pounds) and Jacobi Johnson (197 pounds) all recorded wins by fall over Cumberlands to secure the victory.
In the 1 p.m. session, the Flames looked like they might pick up their first dual setback of the year, falling behind early to Northern Illinois. But, the Flames closed out the contest by taking four out of the last five bouts to secure a 19-17 win over Huskies.
Northern Illinois opened up strong, winning four of the first five matchups to take a commanding 14-3 dual lead. The 11-point edge was keyed by major decision wins by Tristen DeShazer, who is ranked No. 20 nationally at 133 pounds, and Bryan Deutsch at 157 pounds.
Following Deutsch's 11-0 win over Liberty's Walters, Porter won his third bout of the day with an 8-2 decision over John Odeen at 165 pounds.
The win by the junior team captain seemed to jumpstart the Flames, as Clark followed with a second-period pin (5:40) over Derrick Yant at 174 pounds to close the gap. Nick Knowles picked up a major decision win over Zach Denzio at 184 pounds and Josh Pelletier secure the comeback win for the Flames with a 3-1 decision at heavyweight.
In the 3:30 p.m. session, the Flames tried to keep things rolling, but Liberty's efforts to remain unbeaten in 2009 were derailed by the home squad. The No. 11 Hoosiers, who have five Top 20 wrestlers on their roster, downed the Flames, 43-3.
Liberty was only able to take one bout from the Hoosiers, as Walters captured a narrow 2-1 decision over Ryan Konz at 157 pounds.
In the final session of the day, Liberty overcame an early deficit to take a momentary 10-6 lead over Chattanooga, but wins by major decision and fall at the middle weight classes helped the Mocs to rebound and secure a closing day 25-14 win over Liberty.
Decision wins by Chattanooga at 125 and 133 pounds, where quickly followed by a major decision victory by Clymer at 141 pounds and a win by fall by Gayeski at 149 pounds, giving Liberty a 10-6 edge.
However, the Mocs responded by taking the next five bouts, including a major decision by Joey Knox over Walter at 157 pounds, a win by fall by Brandon Wright over Porter at 165 pounds and a hard-fought decision by No. 19 Jake Young over Clark at 174 pounds.
Pelletier was able to run his record to 3-0 on the day with an 8-0 major decision blanking of Tom Minwell at heavyweight, but it would not be enough to help the Flames completely close the Mocs margin.
Gayeski was the Flames top grappler on the day, as the senior followed up his title at last weekend's Keystone Classic with a perfect 4-0 record at the Hoosier Duals. Two of his four wins were by fall, while a third was by major decision to push his season record to 10-2.
Porter and Clark followed closely behind Gayeski, as the upper weight class wrestlers finished the day with individual 3-1 marks. Porter's trio of wins were spotlighted by a pair of technical falls, while a second-period pin highlighted Clark's three victories.
The Flames will have the next two weeks off to prepare for a quad event hosted by Binghamton on Dec. 12. During the day-long event, the Flames will square off against host Binghamton, along with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Princeton.